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.
NTU Resources Manager