Three chicks for Yorkshire falcons




Peregrine falcons nesting in the Yorkshire Dales National Park have produced three young.

Staff and volunteers from the RSPB and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) who run a special free peregrine watch viewpoint at the Cove have been waiting patiently for a chance to find out how many youngsters were in the nest.

The chicks are really fluffy and cute.
Carolyn Jarvis, RSPB

Ian Court, one of the YDNPA’s Wildlife Conservation Officers, said: “We knew there were some young but we didn’t know how many because the nest itself is out of sight.

Carolyn Jarvis, the RSPB’s People Engagement Manager for Northern England, said: “The chicks are really fluffy and cute. It is hard to imagine that, in a short time, they will grow into fearsome predators, pursuing their prey at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour.”

The viewpoint, which last year attracted 16,500 visitors, is manned by YDNPA and RSPB staff and volunteers between 10.30am and 4.30pm from Wednesdays to Sundays inclusive (weather permitting) until 31 July so that people can watch the birds through high-powered telescopes.

Peregrines are the fastest animals in the world and have been recorded at speeds over 200 miles an hour, approximately three times as fast as a cheetah.

They started nesting at the Cove 18 years ago and since then they have raised 37 young. But they are not the only winged attraction there – there are green woodpeckers, cliff-nesting house martins and little owls as well as redstarts and swifts.

Visitors – in particular photographers – are being asked to play their part in helping this years nesting attempt by not getting too close to the nest site. The British Mountaineering Council has once again agreed to impose temporary rock climbing restrictions around the nesting site to avoid disturbing the Peregrines, and an area at the top of the cliff has been sealed off.

PC Mark Rasbeary, North Yorkshire Police Wildlife Crime Co-ordinator said: “This is a great opportunity for people to get good views of the peregrines but we are asking people to watch them from a sensible distance. North Yorkshire Police will be working closely with the YDNPA and RSPB and are advising visitors to the Cove to look out for, and adhere to any signage on site.

“North Yorkshire Police will deal positively with any offences against these iconic birds, which are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.”

The project is run in partnership with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority as part of the RSPB’s Date with Nature programme of events, which makes rare and spectacular birds accessible for everyone to see. www.rspb.org.uk/datewithnature

More information about the Malham Peregrines can be found at www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/peregrines and they will be featured on the National Park Authority’s Twitter page using the #malhamperegrines and the RSPB’s Facebook group Malham Peregrine Watch.

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