Peregrine Falcons become Winchester Cathedral’s latest Television Stars!

Winchester Cathedral has installed a new web-cam to monitor the movements of its resident Peregrines, which have returned to the Cathedral for a third year in a row.

A live link on the Cathedral website gives members of the public the opportunity to follow the progress of the Peregrines as they build their nest. A male and female have already been spotted scoping out the nesting tray installed on the North Transept of the Cathedral. 

The web-cam will help the Hampshire Ornithological Society track the behaviour of the Peregrines and enable the public to engage with the Peregrines without interfering with their vital breeding process. 

The Peregrines moved to Winchester Cathedral in 2017 when their home of 6 years, the Police Headquarters on Romsey Road, was demolished.  Following the installation of a raised nesting tray in 2018, three beautiful chicks were reared and stayed around the Cathedral for much of the summer. Peregrines are very loyal to their nest sites, and so the Cathedral staff have cleaned the tray in the hope that nesting will take place once again and now introduced the web-cam so we can all hopefully enjoy our own bit of Birdwatch.

Winchester Cathedral

Keith Betton, Chairman of HOS, said: “It is so good to be able to watch these majestic birds at close range, and to marvel at their ability to fly so fast. They have had a tough time in the past and now it is time to help them. It is great to be working with the Cathedral staff to help these birds.”

And Cathedral Virger, Ian James, who has taken a keen interest in the birds tells us that “The Virgers wait with eager anticipation for the return of the birds. Once they arrive and start to show interest in the nest site we monitor on a twice-daily basis to observe the nesting habits. We note the dates that the female starts to settle down and spend more time on the nest. We are very careful to note the date of the eggs arriving and then pass this information onwards to Hampshire Ornithologists.”

You can view the web-cam at www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk/peregrine-falcons-at-winchester-cathedral, where there is more information and a selection of images from last year.

Photo courtesy of Richard Jacobs.