Bird's-eye view as peregrine falcon chicks hatch on St Albans cathedral roof top

Chicks hatch at St Albans Cathedral
CREDIT:Barry Trevis, St Albans Cathedral
Three chicks have hatch on roof top of St Albans Cathedral. Credit: Barry Trevis, Ornithologist

Three peregrine falcon chicks have hatched in special nesting trays on a cathedral rooftop for the second year running.

The new arrivals at St Albans Cathedral in Hertfordshire have proved popular, attracting more than 130,000 webcam views, while birdwatchers have gathered on the ground to catch a glimpse of the majestic birds of prey as they fly in and out of their nest.

Heidi Carruthers, of the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, said: “We’re thrilled to see the chicks have hatched safely and, like so many others, we have been watching the webcam in anticipation of the big event.

"It’s heart-warming to see how the public have become invested in the peregrine falcons' journey," she added.

It is the second year running that parents Alban and Boudica have nested at the cathedral after successfully breeding for the first time in 2022.

130,807 people have watched the peregrine webcam. Credit: Barry Trevis, Ornithologist

The peregrine falcon project is part of the larger Wilder St Albans project, which is a collaboration between Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, St Albans City & District Council and the cathedral.

The cathedral nest is being overseen by local ornithologist and licensed bird-ringer Barry Trevis, who has monitored the birds since they first arrived.

Peregrine watch, St Albans cathedral Credit: Debbie Bigg

Ornithologist Barry Trevis said: "We can expect to see the chicks develop quickly by watching much feeding activity from the parents bringing in prey items over the six weeks or so until they fledge from the nest, likely to be from mid-to-late June.

"We can then look forward to sightings of five peregrines perched on the Cathedral and then soaring above the City and its surrounds through the summer,” he added.

Seeing the speed and grace of a peregrine falcon in flight is an opportunity many bird-watchers would not want to miss.

The bird of prey is a record-breaker - it is the fastest bird in the world and the fastest member of the animal kingdom, with a diving speed in excess of 200mph (320kph). 

But numbers fell during the first-half of the 20th century, leaving the species at critical levels in the 1960s.

Today their numbers are slowly increasing, with an estimated 1,700 breeding pairs nationwide, but their recovery still has a way to go.

The birds are creatures of habit, normally mating for life and they can remain loyal to their nest site each year.

The St Albans pair are one of only five pairs breeding in Hertfordshire.

To watch a live feed of the the peregrine falcons nest, you can click on Peregrine live cam.

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