Peregrine Falcons on St George's Church
A pair of Peregrine Falcons nesting at the University of Sheffield has become Yorkshire's first urban breeding pair, thanks to the concerted efforts of staff and volunteers from the University and the Sheffield Bird Study Group.
A nest platform was placed atop St George's Church in early 2010. In 2012 it was finally confirmed that the pair of peregrines using the platform had bred successfully for the first time.
Phil Riley, Energy Manager in the University's Department of Estates and Facilities Management, recently installed this webcam near the nest. The webcam not only acts as a security camera to ensure the nest is not tampered with, but will allow the University to make high quality images of these beautiful wild birds available to the public.
Peregrine Falcons have previously been an endangered species, but their population has steadily increased since the 1970s because of better legal protection and control of pesticides. The birds are usually found around the sea coast but have recently been seen in more built up areas.
Phil Riley said: "The success has been a University-wide effort. I worked closely with Professor Wood, Jim Lonsdale and other colleagues in the University's Department of Estates and Facilities Management to ensure a suitable nest box was constructed and appropriately located. I am delighted that all our hard work has been rewarded."
Learn more about Yorkshire's rare Peregrine Falcons
Local bird watchers are invited to learn more about the history of Yorkshire's first urban breeding pair of Peregrine Falcons at a special talk on Monday June 3, 2013 from 7pm to 8pm.
The public event will give nature enthusiasts the unique opportunity to talk to members of staff from the University of Sheffield who pioneered the specialist breeding platform at St George's Church which has encouraged the rare birds to nest in the city for the first time.
The talk will be hosted by Professor David Wood, from the University's Department of Hispanic Studies and Chair of the Sheffield Bird Study Group, Energy Manager Phil Riley and Jim Lonsdale from Estates and Facilities Management, who were all instrumental in launching the nesting platform in 2010.
Professor Wood said: "Peregrines are one of the most spectacular species in Britain, traditionally associated with remote sea cliffs and inaccessible sites, and to be able to see them in urban Sheffield is an absolute privilege."
The talk will take place at St George's Church on Mappin Street on Monday June 3, 2013 from 7pm to 8pm. Entry is free and everyone is welcome.