The Urban Peregrine – evolution in action!
By 1981 the peregrine had recovered to its pre-war populations of 725 breeding pairs, and by 1991 there were 1283 pairs recorded across the UK. Amongst this number of breeding pairs, for the first time, seven nest sites were found on man made structures. By 2002 this number was 66.
Peregrines have started to venture into cities and towns because there are plenty of tall buildings with suitable ledges to nest on and an abundant supply of their favourite food item, the feral/street pigeon.
They are also taking advantage of the artificial illumination at night in the city and have evolved a hunting strategy that sees them hunting well after dark.
The Hawk and Owl Trust has set up two Urban Peregrine Projects, one in Norwich and another in Bath which have captured the imagination of the public and the peregrines and their offspring have achieved virtual celebrity status.
In a partnership between the Hawk and Owl Trust and Norwich Cathedral, and with the invaluable help of volunteers from Norwich firefighters during their time off, in February 2011 the Trust installed a nesting platform after a pair of peregrines was observed around the city. The first chicks where successfully fledged in 2012 and a further two chicks fledged in 2013.
Peregrines were first observed regularly around Bath from around 2000. The Hawk and Owl Trust built a nest platform on the spire of one of the peregrine’s preferred roost sites, St John’s RC Church in South Parade in 2005 and the birds first bred successfully the following season. They have hatched young every season since.
The Urban Peregrine Projects at Norwich and Bath are one of the Trust’s most popular attractions. We have a separate web site dedicated to them with news, photos and updates along with links to other urban peregrine sites around the country.
To visit the dedicated Urban Peregrine Project web site | Click Here or the click the link at top right of page.