Live web footage offers views of peregrine falcon nest in Aylesbury
Archived press release
Date Published: 11/04/12
A pair of peregrine falcons have successfully produced three eggs in a nest high up on the front of an Aylesbury town centre building.
The spectacular birds of prey have been using a special nesting platform installed on County Hall in Walton Street to roost.
Everyone is invited to keep a watch on the comings and goings at the nest thanks to two web cameras set up to stream live pictures of the falcons on to Aylesbury Vale District Council’s website (see link below).
AVDC’s biodiversity team worked with local volunteers, members of Bucks Bird Club and Buckinghamshire County Council officers to create the nesting platform after two peregrine falcons were spotted flying around the town centre five years ago.
The platform was erected in the summer of 2008 and has been regularly monitored since. Last year it was used by a pair of breeding falcons but sadly the egg they produced didn’t hatch.
Thanks to an anonymous donation, AVDC was able to purchase two web cameras to monitor their progress. The cameras were installed earlier this year and footage was captured of three eggs in the nest at the end of March.
The peregrines have now started to incubate the eggs fully so they should hatch within a few days of each other. Incubation usually takes between 29 and 32 days and both parents have been observed sharing the incubation duties.
If the young hatch successfully, the web footage and the amazing aerial displays of peregrine hunts over the town should be an incredible sight for residents and visitors to witness.
AVDC is planning to hold events in the town centre in the summer to give members of the public the opportunity to view the peregrines through telescopes and binoculars.
Councillor David Thompson, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: “This is a fantastic project and a real team effort to get this far and now being able to share the peregrines’ progress with the web footage. We hope that for many years these spectacular birds will successfully breed in the town, something that would not be possible without the platform. A hunting peregrine in flight is one of the most awesome spectacles of the natural world which local people can now experience on their doorstep.”
The falcon web footage can be viewed by visiting www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/leisure-culture
About the peregrine falcon:
•Peregrine falcons are mainly found in the south-west of England, Scotland and Ireland. They are also seen throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa and Australasia.
•Their favourite habitat is moorland areas with rocky crags, costal cliffs and they have been found nesting on bridges and power stations.
•The birds, which can live up to 15 years, tend to hunt pigeons, wading birds and ducks.
•They can be identified by their dark crown and grey upper parts. Females are larger than males.
•The population of peregrine falcons was decimated during the 1960s and 1970s due to poisonous pesticides. Since the pesticides were banned, the birds have increased in numbers to nearly 1,500 pairs across the UK.