Norwich Cathedral peregrine falcon pair have second egg

The second egg was laid at 00:07 GMT on Friday

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A second egg has been laid by a peregrine falcon nesting on the side of Norwich Cathedral spire.

The egg was first seen via a live webcam in the breeding pair's nest, 75m (246ft) about the ground, at 00:07 GMT.

David Gittens, a Hawk and Owl Trust volunteer, said the adult male was showing "strong paternal instincts".

"He's clearly a modern father and wants to do his bit. The female has had to be very assertive at getting him off the eggs," he added.

The first egg in the 2014 clutch was laid on Tuesday and the trust expects at least two more, laid about two-and-a-half days apart.

Peregrine falcons

Edith on Norwich Cathedral
  • Peregrine falcons became almost extinct in the 1960s after their existence was threatened by pesticides
  • They became a protected species in 1981
  • The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds estimates there are 1,402 breeding pairs in the UK

"At the moment both adults are feeding away from the nest so it's likely both are still catching their own prey," said Mr Gittens.

"The male is really engaged with the eggs and a desire to raise his family. He showed a similar trend last year but this has got stronger as he's got older."

Peregrine falcon numbers declined during the 19th and 20th Centuries due to illegal shooting and use of certain pesticides on farms.

Four chicks hatched in 2013, the second brood in the city since 2011 and among the first in 200 years, but one died in a collision, while another died in a suspected flying accident.

Experts have reported sightings of the surviving female in the area of Ranworth Broad about 10 miles (16km) from Norwich, but it appears the male has left the area in search of his own territory.

Last year the nest's live webcam had more than a million page views, with about 30,000 people visiting the Norwich Cathedral watch-point to view the peregrine family.

The watch-point, set up by the Hawk and Owl Trust, will re-open to the public from 1 April.

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