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Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Monday, 14 February 2011
Nest cam launch for rare peregrine falcons

First pictures of the birds of prey on camera in Nottingham are released

Special cameras have been installed to allow the public to view a peregrine falcon nest for the first time.

The rare birds have been raising chicks on Nottingham Trent University's Newton Building roof for four years.

Until now the nest site has been kept secret due to the risk of disturbance and the threat of egg thieves.

Nottingham Trent University's Paul Lawton said: "The time is now right to give others the rare opportunity to witness these birds of prey close-up."

The university has worked closely with the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust for ten years, since it became apparent that the rare birds were using the building to roost.

However, it was not until 2007 that a pair of peregrine falcons began successfully raising chicks after previous failed attempts.

The timing coincided with Nottingham Trent University's redevelopment and it is at this point Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust were called in to advise.

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust's Conservation Officer, Gaynor Jones Jenkins believes it was important to keep the nest a secret.

"With so few pairs in the county, and the very real threat of the eggs being stolen or the nest being disturbed, we have had to err on the side of caution," said Mrs Jenkins.

Sally Pepper goes peregrine falcon spotting in Nottingham

"But with the nest site now fully secure we can let people see the birds in all their majesty."

She added: "We want to highlight just how rich urban areas can be for wildlife and to show that you don't have to head off to the countryside to see exciting creatures - they are here on our doorstep."

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust have also been working with Nottingham Trent University, Nottinghamshire Police and the National Wildlife Crimes Unit to develop a DNA database for birds of prey.

It will help fight wildlife crime such as the theft of eggs and chicks.

According to the RSPB peregrine falcon numbers are at low levels across Europe. The main threat in the UK is from illegal persecution, in the way of hunting and egg theft.

You can watch the live stream of the falcon cam here.

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