About peregrine falcons
The fastest birds in the world!
Peregrine photo: T. Grantham (Derby Cathedral Peregrine Project)
Peregrines like to nest in high, undisturbed places. Cardiff City Hall clock tower is an ideal location. Perched on the clock tower they can easily spot the birds they prey on.
They eat a wide range of birds, from thrushes to pigeons. When chasing after prey, they can reach speeds of up to 180kph (112mph). Peregrines will normally stay together for life. The female usually lays 3 to 4 eggs and the chicks leave the nest after about 6 weeks.
If the City Hall peregrines breed then we should expect to see signs of new chicks in the nest during May.
A threatened bird making a comeback
Peregrines have long been under threat from humans. Their eggs have been taken; they have been shot and even poisoned.
Pesticides, used during the 1950s and 1960s, killed the adult birds and caused eggshells to weaken and break during incubation. Better legal protection and control of pesticides have helped the numbers of peregrines in the UK to rise from a low of 400 pairs, in the 1960s, to almost 1500 pairs today.
However, they still need our help. Every year birds are shot or poisoned and nests robbed.
More work is needed to ensure the protection of this amazing bird. For more information visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdsofprey