Peregrine falcons in Rochdale

Facts about falcons

  • The birds are most active at the start of the breeding season from March.
  • Egg-laying typically occurs by the end of March to early April with hatching usually occurring during the first week of May.
  • In May 2019, 3 young chicks were hatched and they were ringed on Thursday, 23 May 2019 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 £5000 per offence and/or a prison sentence of up to 6 months.