Salisbury Cathedral peregrine falcon lays THIRD egg!

Salisbury Cathedral peregrine falcon lays THIRD egg!

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 10:29am 15th April 2019. (Updated at 1:35pm 15th April 2019)

More excitement as the bird nesting in a special box on the spire lays yet another egg.

Last year there was no breeding attempt at Salisbury Cathedral after a territorial battle broke out between the resident peregrine, a new female and a male.

The nest sadly remained bare all year.

In 2017 five eggs were laid, although only one hatched however an orphan chick was successfully introduced to the nesting box.

Peregrines generally lay between three to four eggs although have been known to lay up to six in urban areas.

peregrine eggs Salisbury Cathedral 2019
We could have three peregrine falcon chicks this year! ( pic credit James Fisher)

INCUBATION:

Incubation doesn't start until the last egg is laid and with the webcam showing the female sat on the nest it looks like that's the last egg for this season

Eggs are incubated for 29 -32 days so we should be seeing the chicks in mid May.

PEREGRINE FALCON HISTORY AT SALISBURY CATHEDRAL:

There are records of peregrine falcons breeding at the Cathedral between 1864 and 1953, but illegal shooting and the use of use of certain pesticides on farms lead to their decline.

In 2014 with help from the RSPB a nesting box was installed on the cathedral's 123m (403ft) high spire and after an abscence of more than 60 years three chicks hatched.

peregrine chick
One of the chicks from 2017 being ringed

 

PEREGRINE FALCON FACTS:

  • There are just 1500 breeding pairs in the UK
  • They have a wingspan of between 70 and 120 cm
  • The peregrine feeds primarily on birds, which it catches in flight with pigeons a favourite snack.
  • The bird can reach speeds of 111 mph
Peregrine Falcon
The adult birds can reach speeds of 111mph
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