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Peregrine falcons in Rochdale

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Peregrine falcons have nested outside the clock tower at Rochdale Town Hall since 2008. The birds have attracted considerable public interest and they are regularly seen soaring above Rochdale town centre hunting for food. A nesting area was built for the birds 9 years ago, helping to provide them a safe haven to sleep, breed and raise their young. As the tallest building in Rochdale town centre, the town hall reflects the peregrine's natural habitat to breed and hunt prey.

Our recent award winning Revealing the Roch project was praised for renaturalising the river and helping to bring wildlife back to the town centre. More about Revealing the Roch.

Live webcam

See the birds progress throughout the nesting period as they raise their young at the top of Rochdale's most historic building.

The live webcam will not be available between 6pm-7pm tonight (Thursday 25 May) as the 4 chicks are ringed inside the town hall. Ringing will involve attaching a small numbered tag to the leg or wing of each of the chicks so they can be individually identified and tracked. This standard procedure will be carried out by experienced ringers who give utmost consideration to the birds' welfare.

​Name the falcon chicks competition

For a chance to win afternoon tea for two at the Clock Tower Dining Room, and a short tour of Rochdale Town Hall, just send us your suggested names for the chicks along with your name and postcode.

Send your answers, giving your name and postcode, using any of the following ways:

Entry is open to residents of the UK except employees and members of Rochdale Borough Council. The competition closes on Monday, 29 May 2017 at 12midnight. 

Read the full terms and conditions for the competition

Website and social media updates

As well as the live webcam, you can follow the birds' progress using the Twitter hashtag #rochfalcons and on Facebook.       

Nesting period

The falcons have already laid 4 eggs with the first egg being laid on Sunday, 2 April 2017. More eggs could follow!! The birds are most active at the start of the breeding season from February and March. Egg-laying typically occurs by the end of March to early April, with hatching usually occurring during the first week of May. Once hatched, the chicks should take their first flight within 6 weeks.

Falcon facts

  • Peregrines are the world's fastest living creatures, often reaching speeds of 200mph in stoop.
  • They feed off medium-sized birds, such as wading birds, pigeons and small ducks.
  • 60 years ago the birds nearly died out across the northern hemisphere. The numbers recovered and there are estimated to be 1500 breeding pairs in the UK.
  • Peregrines are increasingly found breeding on tall buildings in towns and cities, as well as on hedges and cliffs. The peregrine is afforded the highest degree of legal protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. 
  • It's an offence to intentionally take, injure or kill a peregrine or to take, damage or destroy its nest, eggs or young. It is also an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb the birds close to their nest during the breeding season. Violation of the law can attract fines up to £5,000 per offence and/or a prison sentence of up to 6 months.