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!
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust