Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 14:08 GMT, Tuesday, 11 May 2010 15:08 UK
Peregrine falcon cam - BT Tower, Birmingham

Peregrine falcon
Peregrine falcon - the world's fastest animal

Peregrine falcons have made their home in Birmingham city centre for several years.

We rigged up a webcam, in conjunction with the RSPB, to monitor a pair of peregrine falcons, hoping to see the peregrine lay her eggs, hatch them and then see the chicks fledge - but things don't always go according to plan.

BBC Midlands Today correspondent David Gregory

So once again our Brummie peregrines have failed to breed and for this year we're closing down our live feed from their nest on the BT Tower.

But we're not downhearted. Peregrines are at the top of the food chain in the city so they can be a bit more relaxed about reproduction.

Webcam image of a peregrine falcon and egg
Webcam image: Peregrine falcon and egg in 2009 at Fort Dunlop

A blue-tit has perhaps a single year to get its DNA out there into the population. So it produces eight to 10 eggs and spends plenty of time raising as many chicks as possible.

But a peregrine may not even try to mate for several years. Then eventually it will lay eggs, but often it won't have much luck raising them.

There's plenty for a peregrine to learn. How to incubate the chicks for the female and for the male where to find the most productive hunting grounds to keep the female and any potential chicks well fed.

Peregrine Facts
The world's fastest animal
The largest British breeding falcon
Wingspan 95-110cm
City-dwelling Peregrines feed on pigeons & starlings
2-4 eggs are usually laid
The world's fastest animal
Incubation is 29-32 days
At 40 days they can fly
They carry one of highest standards of legal protection

But from their lofty long-lived position at the top of the food chain, a peregrine knows that with their eight year lifespan they are much better placed to take their time about breeding.

It seems likely our pair on the BT Tower are quite young and so still have much to learn.

Of course it could be that the male is a bit rubbish and the female will chose to "upgrade" next breeding season!

In the meantime we're hoping to make next year's live feed even better by adding sound and improving the camera.

So until next time, thank you for watching and stay tuned to our twitter feed, or my blog at www.bbc.co.uk/davidgregory for the first news on how our birds do in 2011.



Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific