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Peregrine falcons in Rochdale

Peregrine falcons have been nesting outside the clock tower at Rochdale Town Hall since 2008. The birds have attracted considerable public interest and they're regularly seen soaring above Rochdale town centre hunting for food. We built a nesting area for the birds in 2008 to help 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 

You can see the birds' progress throughout the nesting period as they raise their young at the top of Rochdale's most historic building. The council’s live webcam is being viewed thousands of times every week, captivating people from the across the UK and beyond.

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

Nesting period

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.

We're thrilled that 3 healthy young chicks hatched in May 2018. They're being regularly fed by their parents and they should begin to fly by the end of July 2018.

Falcon facts

  • The young chicks hatched in 2018 were ringed on Thursday, 24 May 2018 by the British Trust for Ornithology. The ringing is undertaken safely, and within the law, by qualified experts. It enables them to keep track of the birds over the coming months and years.
  • 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 1,500 breeding pairs in the UK.
  • Peregrines are increasingly found breeding on tall buildings in towns and cities, as well as on ledges 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's 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. 

Winners of the falcon chicks naming competitions

Thanks to all those who entered the name the falcon chick competitions.

The winning falcon chick names for 2018 are:

​Names of falcon chicks ​2018 winners
​BuckBeak ​Class 4 at Smithy Bridge Primary School
​Striker ​Graham Dorgan
​Kevin Beakon ​Siobhan Griffith

The winning falcon chick names for 2017 are:

​Names of falcon chicks ​2017 winners
​Freddie ​Sarah Pugh
​Millennium Falcon ​James Walsh
​El Superfasto ​Alistair Whitehead

​Class 12 Smithy Bridge Primary School