Witness wild peregrine chicks hatch at Chichester Cathedral
Now spring has sprung, visitors of Chichester Cathedral can witness the live development of rare peregrine chicks.
The Cathedral has been home to peregrines since 2001, and last year three chicks successfully fledged.
This year the pair has laid four eggs, which are predicted to hatch on the first day of the RSPB’s annual Date with Nature opening, on Friday 22 April.
Live HD footage will be beamed from the nests to a special viewing area in the Cathedral’s Cloisters Café.
RSPB spokesperson, Mark Weston, said: “Witnessing the new chicks hatching is one of the highlights of the project.
“Visitors love to come and watch the screens as they emerge – it’s a rare sight that people don’t often get to experience.
“Our live video feeds provide a fantastic way for families with young children to get up close to nature, as they can see the birds in detail without worrying about any noise disturbing them.”
Peregrine falcons were driven to near extinction in the UK through the use of pesticides and hunters.
The birds are protected by laws reinforced by European legislation known as the Nature Directives.
The Chichester Cathedral site was the first in Europe to host a peregrine webcam to provide an intimate view of peregrines raising their young, and 50 chicks have successfully fledged from the site since 2002.
The peregrines nest on the Cathedral Tower, in a box made and supplied by the Sussex Ornithological Society.
When the young are learning to fly, the RSPB will move out onto the Cathedral Green.
The RSPB Date with Nature event is open to the public and runs until 10 July 2016.
Entry is through the Cathedral’s Cloisters Café and is free of charge, and telescopes and binoculars are available for visitors to see the birds.
Visitors can combine their peregrine viewing with a look around Chichester’s magnificent 900 year old Cathedral which has free entry, free guided tours and special trails for children.
Live footage of the peregrines can be viewed on the RSPB website at rspb.org.uk/datewithnature/146937-chichester-cathedral-peregrines or on the Cathedral website chichestercathedral.org.uk