Four peregrine falcon chicks born at Salisbury Cathedral

Historical moment for rare breed at England's tallest cathedral

Peregrine falcon chicks

Peregrine Falcon Chicks at Salisbury Cathedral Ringed

Four peregrine falcon chicks which hatched on England's tallest cathedral spire have been ringed.

The chicks hatched in a nesting box installed on Salisbury Cathedral's 123-metre (403ft) high spire three weeks ago.

Peregrine falcon chicks

They were removed from the nest, weighed and ringed with a bright blue ring by well-known ornithologist and wildlife presenter Ed Drewitt. Words: PA.

It is only the second time since 1953 that peregrines have successfully hatched at Salisbury Cathedral.

Three peregrine offspring - nicknamed Pip, Peter and Paula - fledged there last year.

Peregrine falcon chicks

There are nine fully authenticated historical records of breeding at the cathedral between 1864 and 1953, when peregrines were not legally protected.

In 2012, an adult pair were observed on the cathedral during the winter but the birds did not use a nest box erected on the east face of the tower walkway.

Autumn weather October 2nd

The following year the RSPB discovered that the pair had laid three eggs directly on to the stone walkway but these rolled apart and were abandoned.

A carpenter built a nest box with sun shade, which was fitted on the south side of the tower last year, and a nearby walkway was closed to minimise disturbance.

Peregrine falcon chicks

On April 16 of that year, a clutch of three eggs were laid and all three hatched in quick succession on May 18.

The chicks were colour-ringed by Mr Drewitt on June 7 and left the cathedral. They have not yet been tracked.

Salisbury Cathedral announced that four more chicks hatched on May 1 this year. Footage of their nest is being streamed live on the cathedral's website.

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