WE are delighted to be supporting the Ely Cathedral Peregrine Falcon webcam project, which is enabling wildlife lovers across the globe to view Ely’s Peregrines 24 hours a day.

The pair of rare Peregrine Falcons were first spotted in Ely in 2019 and they have made Ely Cathedral their home ever since. They can now be viewed 24/7 via a specially-installed webcam high up on the roof of the Cathedral.

The Peregrines successfully hatched two fledging chicks last year, which created much interest from locals, visitors, keen photographers and ornithologists. Having rejected the nesting box the Cathedral provided for them near the West Tower, they decided to make their nest within a sheltered area by a gable of the South Transept roof. Without direct visual access to the nest, it is hard to determine how many eggs the female has laid but expert conservationists hope for two or three.

Joss Palmer, Event Manager at Ely Cathedral, said: “We are all very excited that Peregrine Falcons have decided to make the Cathedral their home for this year’s breeding season. We have been very careful to follow every piece of advice offered by experts from the Hawk & Owl Trust, and we are so grateful to King’s Ely for funding the installation of a webcam. It is highly addictive viewing!”

The height of Cathedrals provides an ideal home for this protected species, which has almost become extinct in Britain during the last century due to the use of pesticides. Native to cliff tops, they have more recently re-invented themselves as city dwellers, using tall urban structures to replicate their natural nesting habitat.

Over 1,600 breeding pairs currently live in the UK and Cathedrals are a favourite home for these high-flying raptors who regularly return to their nesting sites at Wakefield, Lincoln, Winchester, Salisbury, Norwich, Leicester, Derby, Worcester, Chichester and now Ely Cathedral.

Adrian Blumfield, Chief Operations Director at The Hawk & Owl Trust, said: “We were delighted to be invited to contribute to this project. Without the enthusiasm of Cathedral staff plus the support of the Dean and the sponsorship of King’s Ely, none of this would have been possible. It shows how collaboration can work with real positive benefits and a unique insight of the resident Peregrines.

To view the Peregrine Falcon webcam, visit: www.elycathedral.org

Photos by Simon Stirrup

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