Hundreds of peregrine falcons kept secret 'for safety'

Nottingham peregrines Peregrine falcons are increasingly being seen nesting on high city buildings

Related Stories

The locations of hundreds of peregrine falcons are kept secret to protect them from being killed and having their eggs stolen.

The progress of birds nesting at the top of buildings in Nottingham and Derby is broadcast daily on webcams as bird lovers wait for eggs to hatch.

However the locations of many other nests are not revealed.

The RSPB says it is keeping tight lipped to give the predatory birds "peace and quiet" to breed.

'Nervous wait'

Falcon facts

  • They are said to be one of the fastest animals in the world reaching speeds of up to 200mph (320kph).
  • They usually prefer open landscapes and coasts but are increasingly being seen nesting on tall buildings in towns and cities.
  • Thousands were killed during WWII to prevent them from eating pigeons which were being used to carry messages.
  • In the 1950s, the use of DDT pesticide saw hundreds more poisoned by eating infected birds and insects.

Last week it was announced a pair had nested near the Snake Pass in North Derbyshire and were thought to be sitting on four eggs.

If breeding is successful, it will be the first time to happen in the area for seven years.

Tim Melling, senior conservation officer for RSPB Northern England, said: "It is important they don't get disturbed at this stage.

"There is a big finger of suspicion that foul play has been involved in the past so at the moment we are keeping quiet about where exactly they are.

"We are keeping an eye on them and our fingers crossed we will have something to celebrate in a month's time."

Mr Melling said the birds are often attacked or interfered with by gamekeepers, pigeon fanciers, egg collectors or illegal falconers.

Peregrines nesting on a tower at Derby Cathedral and on a Nottingham university building have become more of an attraction in the last 10 years as their progress is broadcast on cameras.

This week it was announced both pairs had laid eggs and conservationists say they were now "waiting nervously".

Derby Cathedral The peregrines at the top of Derby Cathedral have now laid their first egg

Erin McDaid, from the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, said cold weather and rain sometimes makes things difficult for the peregrines.

He said: "We have nothing to do now but watch, which has been a bit fraught over the last couple of years because of interesting weather.

"We are still a little nervous we might get some colder weather in April."

Last year the birds faced thick snow and in 2012 the female bird abandoned her chicks in heavy rain and they died.

'Stunning and charismatic'

Mr McDaid said the use of webcams had seen an increased interest in the birds.

He added: "They are stunning and charismatic birds and everyone should be able to see them but they are still under threat so the cameras were installed for security reasons.

"There are others we are aware of nesting in the region but we can't say where they are or how many for their safety.

"It also means we can't engage the public in helping us keep an eye on the nests because we are at the mercy of people who may have other intentions."

Eggs laid by the birds will now take up to 30 days to hatch.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Derby



27 °C 16 °C

BBC Local Live

    Peaty through 14:44:

    Adam Peaty has qualified for tonight's 200m breaststroke final which will take place at about 21:00 tonight.

    Follow the Games with BBC Sport.

    WW1 trees 14:32: BBC Radio Derby

    Coming up shortly on Andy Potter's show we'll be asking why people are being asked to plant trees for the centenary of World War One.

    M1 southbound delays 14:20:

    Two lanes are closed and there's queuing traffic on the M1 southbound between J29a, Markham (Markham Vale) and J29, A617 (Chesterfield) because of a broken down lorry and recovery work.

    Travel time is around 60 minutes and there's congestion to J30, A616 (Sheffield). See BBC Travel News for more updates.

    Glossop Cannabis grower 14:11: Derbyshire Times

    A Glossop man who grew up to £14,000 worth of cannabis at home claimed it was for his own personal use to bake cakes, a court heard.

    News on the hour 13:59: Alex Howick BBC Radio Derby reporter

    In the news at 14:00:

    • A former mayor of Derby says he wouldn't be surprised if more hardline Muslims from the city travel to Syria to join the terrorist group Isis
    • The latest report from Ofsted on Derby's Al Madinah school says it's making progress towards the removal of special measures
    • It's the opening day of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where 20 gold medals will be won on day one
    Gold winner 'not sure where medal is' 13:49:

    Derby born former badminton international Donna Kellogg, who won Commonwealth Gold in 1998, has admitted to BBC Radio Derby she's not sure where her medal is.

    She thinks it might be in her grandfather's loft.

    Buxton Fringe 13:35:

    The Buxton Fringe is in full swing. Have a look at what's on today.

    UV levels high 13:22:

    BBC Weather says UV levels are high and very high in the UK today.

    Nuclear dump housing plans 13:04:

    Plans for 113 new homes at a former nuclear waste tip in a Derbyshire village have been thrown out.


    The housing proposals were submitted for land next to Hilts Quarry near Crich which had been used by Rolls Royce for decades.

    The firm had legally dumped low-level waste at the site until it was shut down in 2002.

    In the news 12:55: Alex Howick BBC Radio Derby journalist

    A former Mayor of Derby says there are other hardcore Muslims in the city who might be tempted to travel to Syria to join the terrorist group Isis.

    Fareed Hussain is related to Kabir Ahmed from Normanton who told the BBC's Panorama programme he was at an Isis training camp and was on a list of potential suicide bombers.

    We'll hear from Mr Hussain in the news bulletin at 13:00 on BBC Radio Derby.

    Paedophile jailed 12:49: Derbyshire Times

    A paedophile has been jailed for 26 years after raping three children over a period of 23 years.

    Table-tennis star in action 12:37:

    Local table-tennis star Liam Pitchford is in action later today. At 12:50 the team take on Jamaica.

    Pitchford is one of the more experienced members of the team and told BBC Radio Derby: "Last time out in Delhi I was the youngster - winning medals there was fantastic for my career.

    "Now I'm coming into the games more experience and am favourite to win medals in most of the events. It's a different sort of pressure."

    Public service broadcasting 12:23: BBC Radio Derby

    We sent our reporter Nigel Cash out and about this morning to help Gordon in Allestree re-tune his DAB radio. Here he is enjoying listening to BBC Radio Derby.

    old man and DAB radio

    Over on our Facebook page Luke Baldwin writes: That's amazing listener service! Can you send Nigel round to peg the washing out please?

    Renshaw through to semis 12:10:

    Molly Renshaw finishes fifth in her heat of the women's 50m breaststroke and is through to tonight's semi-finals which will take place shortly after 20:00 tonight.

    Follow the Games with BBC Sport.

    News on the hour 11:59: Sally Swinfen Reporter, BBC Radio Derby

    In the news at 12:00:

    • The military transport plane carrying the first 20 bodies from the downed Malaysian Airlines flight has left Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine for the Netherlands
    • A former mayor of Derby says he wouldn't be surprised if more hardline Muslims from the city travel to Syria to join the terrorist group Isis
    • It's the opening day of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where 20 gold medals will be won on day one
    Good luck sports stars 11:51:

    Derbyshire Sport tweets: Good luck to Derbyshire's @liampitchford @MollyRenshaw @adam_peaty @gunnyluke @KTByres @cazpovey @mikegill89 competing at #Glasgow2014

    Cooling down 11:39: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    Temperatures are set to reach 27C this afternoon. Whenever I'm working in Derby on a hot day I always find a stroll by the river helps. Where in the area do you go to cool down?

    River Derwent

    Let us know at and we'll feature your hidden gems.

    Warning for anglers 11:29:

    The Environment Agency Midlands tweets: If you're out fishing in this lovely weather dont forget check, clean, dry to help prevent spread of invasive species

    Lowe qualifies 11:15:

    City of Derby swimmer Danielle Lowe, competing for England at the Commonwealths, came third in her heat of the 400m Individual Medley. It means she's qualified for tonight's final, which will take place shortly after 19:00.

    Follow the Games with BBC Sport.

    Start times for stars 11:13: Derby Telegraph

    The Derby Telegraph has put together a list of what time local stars are in Commonwealth Games action today.

    News on the hour 10:56: Sally Swinfen Reporter, BBC Radio Derby

    In the news at 11:00:

    • A former mayor of Derby says he wouldn't be surprised if more hardline Muslims from the city travel to Syria to join the terrorist group Isis
    • It's the opening day of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where 20 gold medals will be won on day one
    • The way people register to vote in Derby is about to change
    Your views 10:42:

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like your feedback about this service.

    Commonwealth Games watch 10:12:

    The Commonwealth Games is getting going and City of Derby swimmer Danielle Lowe goes in the heats of the 400-metre individual medley at 10:30.

    commonwealht homepage

    World squash champion Nick Matthew, born in Sheffield, starts his singles campaign at 11:00. He's facing Xavier Koenig of Mauritius in the first round.

    In the hockey, England's women play will also be in action at 11:00 in their first group match against Wales. Former Repton students Hollie Webb and Georgie Twigg are both expected to start.

    You can follow all the action with BBC Sport.

    Former mayor related to Ahmed 10:07:

    The former Mayor of Derby, Fareed Hussain, has told BBC Radio Derby that he is related to Kabir Ahmed, the Derby man who is thought to be training with Isis in Syria and was recently as interviewed by the BBC's Panorama programme.

    News on the hour 09:58: Sally Swinfen Reporter, BBC Radio Derby

    In the news at 10:00:

    Derby on DAB 09:44:

    In case you hadn't heard, BBC Radio Derby is now available on DAB Digital Radio.

    derby radio bag

    You can still join us online and on all the usual FM frequencies.

    Peaty excited 09:34:

    Swimmer Adam Peaty told BBC Radio Derby he was excited about taking on the best swimmers in the world when he finally gets into the pool.

    Peaty said he would be giving his best "for Uttoxeter, Derby and my country".

    Missing gnomes 09:15: Marsha Ramroop News editor, BBC Radio Derby

    We've been on the curious case of some missing gnomes in Ilkeston this morning. Never let it be said that BBC Radio Derby avoids the big news!

    Top headlines
    News on the hour 08:58: Sally Swinfen Reporter, BBC Radio Derby

    In the news at 09:00:

    • Police confirm a Derby man is training with the terrorist organisation Isis in Syria
    • A Derby company says its move to a new multi-million pound technology centre is on hold because it's without a phone line
    • Call for Derby-based Rolls Royce to be more transparent on safety after a power cut led to a problem with ventilation at the firm's nuclear facility on Raynesway
    Trains strike 08:44:

    East Midlands Trains tweets: #EMTupdate Industrial action Sun 27 - Thurs 31 July, majority of services between Derby and Crewe will run as normal

    Heavy traffic on M1 northbound 08:35:

    One lane is blocked and there's heavy traffic on the M1 northbound before J28, A38 (Alfreton) because of a broken down vehicle.

    See BBC Travel News for more.

    Firms demand compensation 08:26: Derby Telegraph

    Derby firms hit by delays to London Road bridge reopening have taken huge financial hits - and now they are demanding compensation.

    Derby swimmer in Glasgow 08:16:

    The Commonwealth Games are upon us. If you've not seen it yet, watch East Midlands Today's report on 19-year-old City of Derby swimmer Adam Peaty who's in the hunt for Glasgow medals.

    Adam Peaty
    Mickleover delays 08:08:

    There's heavy traffic on Radbourne Lane in Mickleover at the B5020 Station Road junction because of a traffic light failure in the roadworks area.

    See BBC Travel News for more information.

    Sunny later 08:02:

    After a dull start to the day conditions will improve with all except the coast seeing plenty of fine sunny weather from late morning. Highs of 27C (81F).

    Good morning 08:00: Ed Barlow BBC Local Live

    I'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates throughout the day for Derbyshire.

    You can get in touch by emailing



  • Shinji Mikamo as a boy, and Hiroshima bomb cloudLove and the bomb

    The Japanese man who lost everything but found peace

  • Northern League supporters at the party's annual meeting in 2011Padania?

    Eight places in Europe that also want independence

  • scottie dogShow-stealers

    How Scottie dogs became a symbol of Scotland

  • Hamas rally in the West Bank village of Yatta, 2006Hamas hopes

    Why the Palestinian group won't back down yet

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.