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Peregrine falcons in Nottingham city centre

25 February 12 words: Jared Wilson
Check out the gorgeous birds on this webcam...
One of the two falcons, sitting proudly atop the Newton building

Nottingham city centre loving falcons - Visit the live webcam now

The Newton building sits in town near to Rock City and the Theatre Royal and some rare birds nest at the top of it. As the hordes of shoppers, rockers and theatre-goers go about their business, a hundred feet above their heads a family of peregrine falcons go about theirs.

Peregrine falcons are known to be the fastest animals alive and can reach up to 200mph while stooping on prey. Their breeding range includes land regions from the Arctic tundra to the tropics – making it the world's most widespread bird of prey. So it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise to realise that there’s one swooping around Nottingham’s TK Maxx as someone reads this, but somehow it still is.

It was in the early noughties that Nottingham Trent University staff noticed some new neighbours with feathers had moved in. Since then the nest site has been successfully used to raise 16 chicks over the past five years. For most of that time the news of the falcons remained unpublicised, until the university formed a working relationship with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust to bring these beautiful creatures to wider public attention.

Last year a live webcam was launched to track the birds as they gave birth to and raised four chicks and it became fascinating viewing for us here at LeftLion – like David Attenborough meets Big Brother. News of this project spread quickly throughout the city and well beyond, as the falcons prepared the nest, laid four eggs, hatched them and raised their babies; as well as devouring countless Notts pigeons along the way.

This year the webcam is back, but with major improvements. The footage is now in HD, with a static camera always on the nest and an additional roving camera following the birds whenever they are around. There’s also been a microphone added to record the occasional screech and infared vision so you can still see the action at night.

So why do these birds choose to live in our city centre? Well, the fact that our tall city-centre buildings mimick their natural crag or cliff environment will be a factor. But probably most importantly of all is the almost inexhaustible supply of pigeons to chow down on. Nom nom nom…

Visit the live NTU Falcon webcam
Visit the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust website

 

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