Falcon spotting at the Tate Modern

Powerful telescopes are being set up to allow visitors to view wild Peregrine Falcons on the Tate Modern building in London.

 looking for the birds on the Tate Modern building - Pic Eleanor Bentall (rspb-images.com)

looking for the birds on the Tate Modern building - Pic Eleanor Bentall (rspb-images.com)

The birds’ nest nearby, but use the Tate’s iconic 100 metre tall chimney as a daytime roost.

The Tate pair are believed to be the first to re-colonise London after peregrines vanished from the Capital in the last Century.

Since this pair, named Misty and Bert, arrived in 2003, pairs of peregrines have increased and there are now over twenty pairs living wild in London.

Misty and Bert have had 2 nest sites in the 8 years they have been breeding in London. The first 2 years were on a tower block near Regents Park. In 2006 they moved to the City, where they remain.

RSPB Senior Events Officer Lyndon Parker said: “Imagine a one litre bottle of water hitting you at a hundred to two-hundred miles an hour and you’ll get an idea of how a peregrine falcon catches its dinner – mid-flight. Less of a bird and more of a flying brick. Peregrines are incredible birds built for speed and with strong talons to keep hold of lunch.”

The peregrine is afforded the highest degree of legal protection under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

In the British Isles peregrines do not migrate, and the majority stay within 100 km of their birthplace, although some upland birds move to lower ground or the coast in winter.

The RSPB will be set-up next to the Millennium foot bridge from the 16 July to the 11 of September 2011, daily from Noon until 7 pm.

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