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Urban Peregrine Project

PeregrineA young Peregrine already learning the flying skills it will need. Photo by Chris Skipper.Amongst the nest boxes that Hawk and Owl Trust have provided for birds of prey around the country are two nesting platforms for urban nesting wild Peregrines. Nesting on buildings is a common thing in North America but it only began in the UK in recent years as the population recovered from a low caused by pesticides and persecution. To a Peregrine, an urban environment bears a surprising similarity to canyons and cliffs, with tall vantage points and the added advantage of light at night which allows these supreme and adaptable hunters to hunt both day and night.

The two Hawk and Owl Trust nest platforms are at Norwich Cathedral and St John’s Roman Catholic Church in Bath and both can be watched year-round via a high quality, widescreen web camera. To find out more see the individual descriptions below.

There are an increasing number of urban nesting Peregrines, some on platforms that have been provided, others nesting directly on buildings and other human-created structures. These nest sites are monitored and protected by a range of different groups and we are proud to facilitate the Peregrine Network – a voluntary group of Peregrine workers from around the country – and further afield, acting as a central point for Peregrine resources and to celebrate all aspects of wild Peregrine research.

Find out more about the Peregrine Network HERE

Peregrines at Norwich Cathedral
Peregrines were seen taking an interest in Norwich Cathedral in 2010, so the Cathedral Estates Department and the Hawk and Owl Trust began working on a suitable nesting place. Providing a nesting platform was easier said than done, though. The historic fabric of the cathedral had to be protected, not to mention the fact that the site was over 75metres above the streets of Norwich.

The birds have nested on the platform since 2012. It is thought (although it cannot be proved) that the un-ringed male (tiercel) is the same bird from that first breeding attempt. Several females (falcons) have been known to partner him over the years. The current female – a particularly large bird – is known as ‘GA’ due to the colour ring on her leg, placed there when she was a chick in the nest on our Bath platform. Several years later she appeared at Norwich and the following year she took over the nest site. 2018 was her second breeding season at Norwich, with one chick fledged in 2017 and three in 2018.

Download our Norwich Peregrine leaflet 

During the breeding season (March-June) there is a volunteer run watchpoint set up, 7 days a week, in the cathedral enclosure allowing everyone to see these amazing animals through telescopes and binoculars kindly provided by Viking Optical.


Peregrines at Bath, St Johns Roman Catholic Church
Peregrines were first observed regularly at Bath in 2000. After three years of Peregrine activity without any indication of successful breeding the Hawk and Owl Trust built a nest platform. The birds first bred successfully, in 2006 and have hatched young every season since.

Under the Schedule 1 licence of Urban Peregrine expert Ed Dewitt, the Bath eyasses (young falcons) are ringed at around 23 days from hatching. At the same time, under a project run by Ed, the birds are also fitted with a blue colour ring. This ring carries two unique letters to allow identification later in life. The first bird blue ringed (AA) at Bath is the current breeding tiercel (male) at the site, and a falcon (female) ringed GA in 2013 has made her way from Bath to Norwich where she is now the breeding female.

Download our Bath Peregrine leaflet


The Urban Peregrine Project sponsored by