Help for peregrine falcons to nest in city

Published on 20 November 2015

PEREGRINE falcons are being given a helping hand to nest and breed upon tall buildings across Leicester.

Leicester City Council and Leicestershire and Rutland Ornithological Society (LROS) are taking the birds of prey under their wing in a scheme to help create safe breeding areas for the birds in the city.

The organisations have been working with businesses occupying tall buildings to install nest boxes for falcons.

In urban environments, tall buildings are the nearest thing falcons can get to their natural environments, which include cliffs and other remote rocky places.

The nest boxes will provide some safety for the peregrines’ eggs when the birds start to breed next year.

Leicester City Council assistant nature conservation officer, Richard Kelly, said: ““Peregrines are attracted to towns and cities because there are the right places for them to nest and a good food supply to raise their young. 

“The tall buildings mimic the peregrines’ natural environment and resemble the craggy cliff faces that they would normally breed on. 

“We have installed four large nest boxes on the roofs of our tallest buildings in the city so the birds can nest and breed in a safe environment.”

Dave Gray from LROS said that peregrines had been observed regularly in the city over the years, but that more help was needed to ensure their nests remained safe and undisturbed.

He added: “We have been monitoring the peregrines in Leicester for the last few years. 

“We know that they have bred successfully and reared two chicks a couple of years ago.

“This year was disappointing. The birds laid two eggs in their nest, but the eggs disappeared and the birds were obviously spooked by something. 

“The police are investigating this, but we want to help the peregrines by encouraging them to nest at sites where we can watch them more easily and help prevent this happening again. 

“The birds are active all year round so we hope they will have spotted the boxes and will start to use one of them next season.”

The locations of the nest boxes are being kept secret to ensure they remain safe.

LROS will be running a series of events next spring and summer to enable people to observe the birds flying over Leicester.