The Sussex Heights Peregrine Falcons

The Sussex Heights Peregrine Falcons are back – Hooray!

Confused? Well if you’re interested in local wildlife, then there’s a real treat waiting for you online, as coverage of these stunning birds of prey is available for us all to witness via their Nest-box webcam once again!

This unique ‘Nestcam’ is already streaming live pictures from the nest box throughout the day – refreshed every minute – giving us a fascinating insight into the behaviour of these beautiful birds throughout their breeding season.

And there’s video footage too. Check out mum and dad preparing their nest, then chatting and flirting with one another before any eggs appear; there’s even the actual tail feather-shaking moment when the fourth egg is actually being laid – all available to watch from the comfort of your own home right now.

The nesting box was put 334 feet up at the top of Sussex Heights in spring 1998, and each year since then the pair has successfully raised chicks – quite incredible since Peregrine falcons were extinct in Sussex between 1945 and 1990!

The peregrine falcon has slate blue upper parts and cream-coloured under parts with black bars, and a prominent “moustache” mark on the side of the face. Powerful and streamlined, they soar to heights of several hundred feet. When these expert hunters swoop it has been recorded as the fastest animal on earth reaching speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour (322 km/h), and usually target a variety of birds (e.g. pigeons), all of which are caught in flight.

Peregrines are rare but remarkably widespread, with a more extensive natural global range than any other bird, being found on every continent except Antarctica.

When nesting, peregrines choose a site which is an isolated protected spot near good hunting grounds – a cliff or rocky outcrop. Nests consist simply of a shallow depression scraped out by the adults; no materials are ever added.

Recently, peregrines have started living in towns and cities on an increasingly regular basis, using tall buildings as nesting sites – a sheltered ledge high on an office tower makes a great towering cliff.

Mating begins a lifelong pairing, but they are so not equal – the female is usually the dominant partner.

This year, the female has laid four eggs in the “scrape” (above), but when will they hatch you all ask? Well trying to guess when peregrine eggs will hatch is far from an exact science but the current estimate is sometime from the 25th of April onwards, but we should hopefully see all of the chicks hatched by the end of April.

Watch the story unfold by visiting www.regencybrighton.com today!

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