Peregrine falcon family a huge draw for visitors

It's one of the region's most iconic buildings. Norwich Cathedral, 900 years old, is an attraction for visitors from around the world.

But it's the visitors 250 feet up the spire who're the real centre of attention at the moment.

In a nesting box is a pair of peregrine falcons and their three chicks which hatched earlier this month.

Falcons
Feeding time for the chicks Credit: Hawk and Owl Trust

Since Easter, Jan Smith and her fellow volunteers from the Hawk and Owl Trust have seen ten thousand people come to their viewing centre, hoping to catch a glimpse of the drama above.

Jan Smith, volunteer duty manager, said: "If you show anyone who's never seen a peregrine through a scope on the spire, their jaws drop and particularly with children and they actually say, 'oh wow'

"And we've had several people who've been in tears who've been moved by it."

We've had several people who've been in tears

– Jan Smith, Hawk and Owl Trust

Cameras on the side of the cathedral have captured every movement of the last few weeks. One egg hasn't hatched. Pictures are streamed on the Hawk and Owl Tust website which has had 1.3 million hits in just over a week.

Falcons
Falcon chicks Credit: Hawk and Owl Trust

Numbers of peregrine falcons are increasing, although there are less in East Anglia than other parts of the country.

It's expected that next month, the peregrines will start teaching their young to fly and to catch food - which will be pigeons and other birds. Then in July, the chicks will leave the nest. It's an air show not to be missed.