A pair of Peregrine Falcons have successfully laid three eggs in a purpose-built nest box attached to the water tower at Adastral Park. This is despite an initial set back brought about by the strong winds of recent weeks.
The newly bonded pair are as new to each other as they are the park, with the male arriving in October and the female joining him in late January.
Based on observations from the last six years it was expected the pair would move on from Adastral around February, but the decision was made to try and tempt them to stay at the park by providing a nesting site. A nesting box was attached to the water tower next to Orion and since then the female has laid 3 eggs.
If you're on the BT Intranet at Adastral Park, you can access our 'PerryCam' website to see a view of the nesting box!
We must be cautiously optimistic that this will end in success, being mindful that Peregrine Falcons are notoriously unpredictable as parents in their early years of breeding. Because Adastral Park is a working site, Hawk and Owl expert Peter Merchant will be keeping an eye on the pair to see how they get on and will advise on any changes to the nesting box location that we might need to make next season.
The recovery of the Peregrine Falcon when considered in “Wildlife time” has been quite remarkably fast. Largely due to the introduction of the artificial nest sites in urban areas with the cooperation of industrial and public building operators.
As recently as the year 2000 any Peregrine Falcon seen in Suffolk would have been considered to be 'in passing' on their way back to northern breeding sites. This changed in 2008 when for the first time in 200 years Suffolk saw young fledgelings successfully raised from a mounted nest box under the Orwell Bridge. Every year since then we have seen young Peregrine Falcons produced from the nest under the Orwell Bridge. However, due to the hazards of the road above and the river below, virgin flight for fledgelings is perilous. Meaning the new successful introduction of a nest box at Adastral Park is a welcome addition for local breeding sites
In addition to Adastral and Orwell Bridge pairs, there are other potential breeding pairs in Suffolk. Lowestoft, Felixstowe and Bury St Edmunds all have new young Peregrine appearing in rural towns in high up places like church towers. It is hoped that this iconic bird is in the county to stay.
There is more information available from the Hawk and Owl Trust website