Falcons nesting at Salisbury Cathedral become lockdown

Falcons nesting at Salisbury Cathedral become an unexpected internet hit during lockdown as thousands tune in to watch the webcam live feed

  • More than 55,000 people watched the cathedral’s footage of the falcon 
  • Only 6,000 people tuned in to watch the birds laying their eggs last year
  • Staff think the rise is because people are looking for entertainment during coronavirus lockdown 
  • The peregrine falcon laid four eggs with two to three days in between each one

Thousands of viewers have become hooked on live footage of falcons nesting on the roof of Salisbury Cathedral during the coronavirus lockdown. 

More than 55, 000 people watched the peregrine falcon laying four eggs last month compared to the 6,000 viewers who watched them at the same time last year. 

Speaking about the massive increase in viewers the Cathedral’s clerk of work Gary Price said: ‘That is probably wholly due to the situation that’s going on in the world.

‘It’s a great thing to see, it’s uplifting and a lot of people have been interacting with it.

‘A friend of mine has two grandchildren and she’s told her grandkids: “when the peregrine lifts see if you can count the chicks”.’  

The footage shows the falcon sitting in a nest box made for her by cathedral staff on the roof of the building’s tower.   

On Mother’s Day she was recorded laying her first egg and night-time footage captured her laying the second two days later at 7.19pm.

She laid two more over the next five days – with her final egg on March 29. 

The peregrine falcon lifts herself and lays her first egg at 10.26am on Mother’s Day on the roof of Salisbury Cathedral’s tower

Peregrine falcons usually lay their eggs with two to three day intervals between each one in late March and early April

Female peregrine falcons usually lay between four and five eggs, rarely six every year in late March or early April. 

Each egg is laid with two or three days in between and at the last egg beings incubation. 

This is when the female sits on the eggs for just over a month with the male taking over when she goes hunting.  

Nature conservation adviser Phil Sheldrake told ITV: ‘Incubating more than four can be a challenge and often an egg can be left uncovered. It’s also a lot of mouths to feed if they eventually hatch’ 

The chicks hatch after 32 to 42 days and can often look after themselves after only two months.

The third egg came in early hours of the morning at 2am three days after the second on March 27 

Females usually lay between three and five eggs, rarely six, called a clutch, before they are incubated for over a month

The falcon’s final egg arrived at 11.49am two days later on March 29. Nature conservation adviser Phil Sheldrake told ITV: ‘Incubating more than four can be a challenge and often an egg can be left uncovered. It’s also a lot of mouths to feed if they eventually hatch’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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