How are the falcons coping with the current weather?

No problem: The female braves the elements

No problem: The female braves the elements

Some of you may have wondered how our peregrine falcons cope in terrible weather like we’ve seen today. Falcons naturally nest on ledges on cliff faces and our man made cliff face is very natural to them – that’s why they chose our Newton building as a suitable home. Like other urban birds of prey they prefer a high vantage point and this also helps the young when they start learning to fly. But as you may have seen today, the strength of the wind is moving the camera considerably and is driving rain and sleet over the nest box.

The male has probably been sheltering on one of the ledges out of the wind’s reach and will put in an appearance at some point, possibly with food. A rain and sleet shower in Nottingham is hardly a challenge to the birds though, as peregrines can breed in a wide range of climates from arctic tundra to tropical rain forests; in fact it’s one of the most widespread birds of prey which can be found on every continent except Antarctica.

We’ve also heard a couple of people ask whether the nest box might fill with water. The answer is no – the tray has drainage holes under the gravel which allows the rainwater to drain into the gulley. When the falcons first chose the building as their home the nest area was often waterlogged, so we fitted a nest box that was slightly raised off the guttering floor to allow the water to pass underneath.

Nigel Smith
NTU Resources Manager

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9 Responses to How are the falcons coping with the current weather?

  1. Ann Amos says:

    Reassured to read this as I was alarmed when I saw the dreadful weather there this morning…..


  2. Mike Metcalf (Worcester) says:

    Please ignore the last message about a missiing egg. I’ve just seen that there are 4 eggs – one must have been obscured from view on Monday (or I was looking at some old footage!). Best wishes,, Relieved of Worcester.


  3. patsy weatherall says:

    remarkable,one day this week had the opportunity to see (1) mam move off the eggs only time i have had the fortune to witness them (2) dad arrived on the parapit of the building,and showed off his wonderful talons.


  4. Nick Brown says:

    At last Derby Cathedral’s peregrines also have a full clutch of four eggs…about three weeks after your Nottingham birds.
    It would be interesting to know why your birds lay so early. They are certainly older than ours and maybe that’s part of the answer since older birds do lay earlier each year….but three weeks is a big difference.
    Nick Brown (Derbyshire Wildlife Trust/Peregrine Project)


  5. Penny says:

    Wishing everyone a Happy Easter, especially Nottingham’s own precious ‘Easter Eggs’!


  6. John. says:

    Falcons naturally nest on ledges on cliff faces not town buildings or churches, they build there own nest as well… Very abnormal for a Raptors such as the Peregrines to be actually in so many town centres as well… Presume you will now try and tell me they have chosen the town centres because food sources are drying up where there natural habitat is……………………


  7. wollypark says:

    Just seen a Peregrine Falcon set of chicks ringed on Animal Planet…Wild Britain with Ray Mears…are the NTU Falcons going to be ringed??


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