There are records of Peregrine Falcons breeding at the Cathedral between 1864 and 1953, after which there was a long period of absence caused by persecution and the use of organophosphates.
In 2014 a mated pair nested, producing and fledging four chicks successfully in a nestbox built by the Works Yard team. Since then Peregrines have hatched and fledged from the Tower every year until 2018, when a territorial battle between two females prevented laying. The nest remained bare all Summer even though there were peregrines in residence.
Our resident peregrines are so popular they even have their own YouTube channel and all our chicks are ringed so that we can follow their progress. Sally (an adult female) is fitted with a satellite tracker.
This year the resident female Sally has been seen on the nestbox and balcony but an unringed pair have taken up residence and in the small hours on 8 April the first egg was laid on the top of the Cathedral Tower. The last record we have of Sally was showing her somewhere between Harnham and Coombe Bissett.
Fast facts about egg laying and incubation:
- There are generally around 3 to 4 eggs in a clutch
- Incubation does not start until the last egg is laid
- Eggs are incubated for 29 to 32 days which means if all goes well we should be seeing chick in early May
Below is a live feed of the nest box and the south parapet of our tower - hover the mouse over the image for fullscreen options.
Peregrines past and present
Click here to follow the 2018 story of the Cathedral's peregrines.