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Peregrine Falcons

Almost twenty years ago, a pair of breeding Peregrine Falcons chose a window ledge of level 9 on NTU’s Newton building as their nesting site. These beautiful birds of prey are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, listed as Schedule 1 species.

NTU in partnership with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust have had the pleasure of sharing the Falcon’s journey through both successful and challenging breeding seasons. Our records show that they have successfully raised almost forty chicks and since Falcon Cam was launched in 2012, people across the world have been able to observe, learn and share this journey in nature.

We accept donations to help fund two birds of prey research projects taking place here at NTU as well as towards our project partners Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.

Falcon breeding season 2021 blog

Peregrine Falcons event

Wow!  What a season 2021 has been for our urban peregrine falcons.  Our avid fans will know the story inside and out, however, for those not so familiar with this year’s events here is a summary.

All seemed well with our resident falcon pair returning as usual to the nest site this year in early February. The 15th March saw the first egg laid at around midnight followed by the second egg  arriving on the morning of  17th March. However,  20th March was the last day that the female (Mrs P) was sighted.  This was followed by reports of a dead peregrine found in the Lace Market area of Nottingham City Centre.

A new female peregrine was spotted at the nest site soon after the disappearance of Mrs P, showing behaviour suggesting a new pairing was forming between her and the resident male peregrine (Archie). This relationship was confirmed on 24th March when mating between the new female and resident male took place.

On the 5th April the first egg was laid by the new female (P9).  The two eggs previously laid by Mrs P still remained in the nest and Archie had been observed spending time on these. On the 7th April a second egg was laid. The incubation period began with both birds sharing this throughout the next few weeks.

During April, NWT continued to establish the identity and cause of death to the falcon found in the Lace Market, arranging x-rays on the dead falcon to check for evidence of poisoning, so as to rule out any foul play.

On the 5th May the first chick hatched and over the next few weeks kept viewers hooked with his daily changes and activities.  No one knew if any of the other eggs would hatch and as the days past it became apparent that just the 1 egg was viable this year. The chick was ringed on 27thMay and confirmed to be a healthy boy.  Him and his ring has been logged with BTO for future reference and sightings,

By mid-June the chick had lost almost all of his fluff and had transformed into a beautiful juvenile.  He is still spotted around the nest site at the time of writing this update (August 2021). He will soon find his own territory but it is expected that the parents will remain in the area all year as has happen in previous years. This chick is the 40th to have successfully fledged from NTU’s nest site.  The Sustainability Team have called him Nigel, after Nigel Smith,  who has been a fundamental NTU team member in this project over the past 20 years.  Nigel retired from NTU earlier this year.

As with every year we pass on our thanks to all NTU members of staff involved in this work as well as the team at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.