Many species have thrived during lockdown – and there’s great news from the National Trust about one of them!
Peregrine falcons have thrived during lockdown.
The National Trust reports that peregrine falcon chicks have hatched in the ruins of a 12th century castle in Dorset in the south of England AND across the rugged moors of the Peak District!
The National Trust think the success of these birds is most probably down to the peaceful environment lockdown created. There are 11 peregrine falcon chicks ready to fledge across four acres of land that the Trust cares for. Three of these were at Corfe Castle in Dorset and the other eight were found at three different sites in the Peak District’s High Peak Moors!
The breeding peregrines in Dorset had built a nest 70 feet up on the castle’s keep walls – the first time a pair of the raptors had nested there since the 1980s. The castle was quiet, thanks to lockdown, so the birds had the peace and quiet they needed to make a nest and lay their eggs. By opening time, the eggs had hatched – so the parents were not likely to abandon their nest. The parents encourage their offspring into the big wide world, by offering them food!
And there are six successful breeding pairs in the National Park moors this year – double the average since the Bird of Prey Initiative started to report in 2012. The goal is to encourage at least 17 breeding pairs and that will hopefully mean lots of young peregrine falcons!
When these peregrine falcons grow up, they will be the fastest animals in the world. Stooping adults hunting prey can reach incredible speeds of 200 miles an hour. Their wingspan reaches 1.2 metres. That’s impressive.
The National Trust is working in partnership with the British Trust for Ornithology, Natural England and volunteers from the Peak District Raptor Monitoring Group. Many of the birds in the Peak District have been ringed so that it’s possible to monitor their progress.
It is really important that visitors keep their distance because if the chick’s parents are disturbed, the adult birds may not come back to feed their offspring who will die.
The ultimate vision is for the moors to be full of wildlife and the Trust is working with tenants and partners to make this happen.
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