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.
These magnificent birds of prey can grow up to half a metre in length and have a wingspan of over a metre. They live for 15 to 18 years and are actually the fastest animals in the world, diving at speeds of just under 250 miles an hour to catch their prey. They are also incredibly agile, and have been observed flying upside down to catch food dropped by a mate.
From March until July, visitors can look forward to catching sight of these magnificent birds from the Cathedral grounds. There are a series of Open Days at weekends providing the opportunity to observe the peregrines through a telescope, watch the webcam footage, and learn more about the birds and their activities from volunteers on site. The dates are April 27/28; May 4/5; May 18/19; June 8/9; June 15/16 and June 22/23 – from 10am to 4pm. If the weather is particularly inclement, you might find our 'peregrine' volunteers sheltering in the Cathedral cloisters.
Click on the webcam link below to watch live footage from the nesting box at Chichester Cathedral:
Photograph by David Shaw.