Rare peregrine falcons raise four chicks in Nottingham
A pair of peregrine falcons have successfully hatched four eggs on a Nottingham city centre roof.
The birds of prey have been using Nottingham Trent University's Newton Building to roost for the past ten years.
They have raised 12 chicks over the past four years.
This year, for the first time, a live webcam has been installed on the building so the public can witness the event.
There have been more than 100,000 views of the university's webcam since February.
End Quote Gaynor Jones Jenkins Notts Wildlife Trust
We want to highlight just how rich urban areas can be for wildlife”
The first two chicks hatched during the royal wedding and were named Will and Kate. The second two hatched a couple of days later.
"One is still significantly smaller and often has to fight for attention during mealtimes, but we are keeping our fingers crossed that he or she will continue to grow stronger," Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust's Erin McDaid said.
"The mother is very experienced and seems to be doing a great job in ensuring that all four get some food."
The chicks are expected to stay in the nestbox for another four weeks.
There are estimated to be only 1,402 breeding pairs of peregrine falcons in the UK, according to the RSPB.
The birds are a protected species by European and national law.
The university has worked closely with the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust since it became apparent that the rare birds were using the building to roost.
Until now the site had been kept secret because it was not secure.
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust's Conservation Officer Gaynor Jones Jenkins believes it was important.
- Peregrines feed on small birds, most of which are captured in flight
- The young will be in the nest for about six weeks and by the time they leave will weigh over ten times heavier than when they hatched
- Peregrine falcons are the fastest animals on earth, reaching over 200 mph while swooping on prey
- There are estimated to be only 1,402 breeding pairs in the UK, according to the RSPB
"With so few pairs in the county, and the very real threat of the eggs being stolen or the nest being disturbed, we have had to err on the side of caution," said Mrs Jenkins.
The Newton building has now been redeveloped and, with advice from Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, made secure.
Ms Jenkins said: "We want to highlight just how rich urban areas can be for wildlife and to show that you don't have to head off to the countryside to see exciting creatures - they are here on our doorstep."
You can watch the live stream of the webcam on the Nottingham Trent University website.