Why St Valentine’s Day?

Love is in the air...

You might be wondering why we chose St Valentine’s Day to launch our falcon webcam again this year. Well the reason is that Feb 14 always marks the start of National Nest Box Week – a long running event designed to highlight the importance of nest boxes for wild birds and to encourage people to install boxes at home, at school or even at work.

Here on Nottingham Trent University’s Newton building we haven’t got a nest box as such – more like a nest platform – but the idea is just the same. We have created an artificial nesting area to help give the peregrines a better chance of success – and judging by the fact that the pair have so far raised 16 chicks – we must be doing something right.

We also feel that Valentine’s Day is appropriate due to the fact that peregrines pair for life. Whilst it’s not a great idea to impose human emotions on to wild animals – there is something a little romantic about a life-long partnership and returning to their favourite spot each year. During courtship the male birds even present females with ‘gift-birds’ in mid air. In reality he’s more likely to be doing this to demonstrate his hunting prowess rather than to prove he’s an old romantic, but its still rather impressive!

Last year the female laid her eggs in late March but the pair have been regularly seen around the nest since late January and if the weather warms up the eggs may well arrive a little earlier – we’ll just have to wait and see. Once all the eggs are laid it’ll be about four weeks before we see the first chicks – I can’t wait!

Erin McDaid
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

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10 Responses to Why St Valentine’s Day?

  1. Brilliant !!!!!!! what wonderful pictures. thanks , started watching last yr .

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  2. John says:

    Can we expect lots of video clips of the falcons on a regular basis throughout the season?

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  3. Lesley Farnsworth says:

    These new cameras are brilliant !! Looking forward to this years eggs being laid and hatched.Watched last year nearly every day :))

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    • paul friend says:

      yes new cameras are brilliant but i do hope NTU measure board at back of nest is fixed securely we dont want any broken eggs!!!

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      • rogdog77 says:

        Hi there – yes, the measurement board is fixed with screws to the inside of the nestbox below the gravel line

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  4. Nick Brown says:

    Well done Nottingham. We’ve received over 2 million hits to our Derby Cathedral web cams and blog since we set them up in 2007 so there’s certainly a voracious appetite for watching peregrines all over the world. Our viewers have come from over 70 different countries and we even had one avid web cam watcher in Hong Kong travel to the UK to see our birds ‘for real’. We also run Watch Points when the chicks are big enough to be seen from the ground so people can observe the birds ‘for real’ through telescopes….so do make the short journey over to Derby and join us this summer!
    Nick B (Derbyshire Wildlife Trust)

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  5. mr john taylor says:

    very exciting last year,but we could not get any pictures after the first two chicks hatched,love the hd footage this year,who knows perhaps 3d before long,keep up the very good work that you do

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  6. Rachel Staten says:

    Fantastic to see them back again.

    Cameras are fantastic this year!

    Can’t wait to watch them and the chicks again.

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  7. geebee7 says:

    And also my birthday is on Feb 14th.

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