Chichester Cathedral Peregrines - annually from April to July (approximately)
Since 2001 a pair of Peregrine Falcons have raised their new chicks in the Cathedral's south east turret. 2016 was the 16th year that peregrines have returned to the Cathedral site to nest. In 2016 we welcomed three male and one female peregrine chicks.
Every year from April until July (approximately) visitors can view the peregrines via a live webcam in the Cathedral grounds and can talk to volunteers from the RSPB. Peregrine falcons were driven to near extinction in the UK through the use of pesticides and hunters. The birds are protected by laws reinforced by European legislation known as the Nature Directives. The Chichester Cathedral site was the first in Europe to host a peregrine webcam to provide an intimate view of peregrines raising their young. Fifty chicks have successfully fledged from the site since 2002. We hope to welcome the birds back for another successful year in 2017...
You can view fascinating footage of the chicks being weighed and ringed by watching the video below:
End of March - camera switched on
Mid April - eggs hatch usually over 1 - 3 days
Mid April (dates TBC) - project opens to the public in the garden of the Cloisters Café. Visitors can view images from the nestbox on the live webcam and use binoculars and telescopes to watch the birds flying and perching on the Cathedral turrets.
Mid to end April - eggs hatch usually over 1 - 3 days
Last week of May - chicks are ringed
Mid June to early July - project moves to the Cathedral Green where visitors can use binoculars and telescopes to watch the young start to learn to fly.
2nd/3rd week in June - chicks fledge and leave nest
Many of the Peregrine chicks raised over the years have later been spotted at locations far and wide, click here to find out more.
The Peregrine is a large falcon and the fastest flying bird in the world, known for its spectacular aerial dives or 'stoops' in pursuit of its prey. Dives have been known to reach up to 180km per hour. The Cathedral peregrines do not hunt around the immediate Cathedral precincts, however, as there are too many other buildings and not enough space.
In Britain, most peregrines nest off of cliffs, including the Sussex coast between Brighton and Eastbourne, but Cathedral turrets will do!