Norwich Cathedral peregrine falcons webcam superstars

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Media captionThe daily wildlife drama at the top of Norwich Cathedral was viewed nearly four million times

A webcam set up to watch peregrine falcons living on a cathedral tower in Norfolk attracted 100,000 visitors a day over the breeding season and that amounted to nearly four million views.

The Hawk and Owl Trust set up the camera at Norwich Cathedral in 2011 and 10 chicks have fledged in that time.

The technology improved this year and more people logged on to see the camera footage, the trust said.

Over 88 days from 17 March viewers saw 3,568,265 three-minute sessions.

High-speed crash

This number of three-minute viewing sessions was 71% higher than in 2013.

Nigel Middleton, from the trust, said: "At the peak over the first 10 days of June people were seeing over 100,000 views per day.

"During the whole period we served video to around 112,000 unique addresses, some 35% higher than 2013 with 87% of viewers from the UK, 3% from the USA and 1.6% from Spain.

"The remaining 8.4% were distributed over at least six continents," Mr Middleton said.

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Media captionWeb traffic started to rocket in March when the first egg of 2014 arrived
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Media captionAll four of the brood fledged but two chick died once leaving the nest

This year, four chicks fledged but two died, one as a result of a high-speed accident when it crashed in a wall near the nest site.

A survey of breeding peregrines in the UK - the sixth to be carried out since 1961 - is currently under way by the British Trust for Ornithology, which is based in Thetford.

Experts say peregrine numbers have recovered from the detrimental effects of pesticides in the 1950s and 1960s. In 2002 their numbers reached a high of 1,492 occupied territories but at that time there were none in East Anglia.

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