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Cathedral Peregrines

A Youtube livestream of Peregrine Falcon chicks at Worcester Cathedral has proved a hit once again this year. A pair of Peregrine Falcons nested high up on the side of the cathedral this spring, raising hopes there will be another successful year of breeding.

With four chicks hatched this year, countless visitors have been craning their necks skywards from College Green to catch a glimpse of the parents as they fly to and from their nest.

For the first time in more than a decade, a mating pair of peregrines moved into the Cathedral two years ago and successfully nested, produced and fledged four chicks. Last year the Cathedral team installed a hi-resolution camera which received nearly 400,000 views from across the globe. The cameras are back this year, with the action broadcast to Youtube as well as on a screen inside the Cathedral.  

Chris Dobbs, Biodiversity Advisor for the Cathedral, said: ‘It’s fantastic to see this pair back at the Cathedral for what we hope will be another successful year. Although peregrines are still relatively rare, they are recovering well in the UK, at least partly due to the new habitats they take up in cities, of which Worcester is a great example. The birds love cathedral towers because they are similar in some ways to their natural habitat nesting sites, which include quarry faces, sea cliffs, and mountainsides, as they like to have a high prospect looking over the area of their territory, which cathedral towers and other tall buildings in cities provide. 

‘It’s great to be able to share the action from the nest on the livestream, much like many other UK Cathedrals. They were incredibly popular last year and we can hopefully all enjoy watching the progress of the family again this year.’
Peregrines have been in and around Worcester for hundreds of years. They are depicted in the Cathedral’s great West Window and parts of the stonework too. The territory, which is the whole city area, changes hands occasionally as pairs move around or are injured over the years. The current pair has been here for five years, although those watching the birds suspect at some point there was a new male, as mortality among birds of prey is quite high.

Peregrines are the fastest living thing on earth, able to reach speeds of over 200mph in a dive while hunting (called a stoop). They are protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

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