Kettering peregrine falcon webcam goes live starring town church's birds of prey

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The birds are being monitored by the Hawk and Owl Trust

Kettering’s ‘parish’ church of St Peter & St Paul has welcomed some high-flying guests back to their medieval building in the heart of the town.

Regular visitors to the town centre have been craning their necks over the past few years to get a glimpse of the pair of peregrine falcons that have claimed the tower as home.

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But now residents will be able to watch the birds in a different way thanks to a webcam installed by the Hawk and Owl Trust that will monitor the lofty nest site.

The Kettering peregrine falcons on their nest box /Hawk and Owl Trust with inset one of the peregrines/ Glyn DobbsThe Kettering peregrine falcons on their nest box /Hawk and Owl Trust with inset one of the peregrines/ Glyn Dobbs
The Kettering peregrine falcons on their nest box /Hawk and Owl Trust with inset one of the peregrines/ Glyn Dobbs

Rector of St Peter & St Paul Church, Rev David Walsh, said: “They are amazing birds. They are a spectacular sight, they are one of nature’s most amazing creatures and we are so lucky to have them here.”

Currently the pair are brooding four eggs on the bespoke nest box below the spire. The birds nest on cliff-ledges, quarry faces, crags, sea-cliffs and man-made structures.

Once persecuted, improved legislation and protection has helped the birds to recover and they have now expanded into many urban areas. , – Peregrines are a Schedule 1 listed species of The Wildlife and Countryside Act. Peregrine falcons are the world’s fastest animal reaching in excess of 200mph in a dive, which makes them very effective hunters catching their prey in mid-air.

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A spokesman for the Hawk and Owl Trust said: “Roughly four years in the past, the Hawk and Owl Trust were contacted by the Rector of St Peter & St Paul in Kettering, requesting guidance regarding peregrine falcons that had chosen the church as their home, given its prominence as a nesting site within the local neighbourhood.

Kettering peregrine falcon/Glyn DobbsKettering peregrine falcon/Glyn Dobbs
Kettering peregrine falcon/Glyn Dobbs

“The trust's conservation officer, assigned to that area, promptly paid a visit and offered assistance, leading to the installation of a nesting tray.

“The trust has maintained its supportive role, providing constant advice to the church, and working closely with the rector and volunteers from the locality.”

In 2023, the peregrines had successfully reared four offspring that could be seen – and heard – around the church and town centre.

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Over the winter the Hawk and Owl Trust set up the camera with 24-hour coverage of the nest site now online.

Viewers will be able to see that the female falcon is currently sitting on four eggs that are due to hatch on or around May 20.

The Hawk and Owl Trust said: “Much of what the trust does is carried out quietly, without drawing attention or seeking public acclaim. However, we are now thrilled to share the live camera images. Your generous donations to either the Hawk and Owl Trust or St Peter & St Paul’s would be immensely helpful in sustaining this ongoing work.”

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According to the RSPB, there are now 1,750 pairs breeding in the UK and they can be recognised by long, broad, pointed wings and a relatively short tail. They are blue-grey above, with a blackish top of the head and an obvious black 'moustache' that contrasts with their white face. Their breast is finely barred.

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