Peregrines on the Web
The Peregrine Falcon has the widest distribution of any falcon. It can be found across the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia. Websites have been set up in several countries to provide visitors with an opportunity to observe the breeding cycle of the Peregrine Falcon, many of which are urban birds. We outline some of the best of these sites below.
Some webcams are very much better than others. Not many sites are live (or “streaming”) and the majority show still pictures which change every 10–20 seconds. Some sites have very good commentaries and some also hold really good galleries of pictures taken at the site.
A nesting tray and webcam were installed at site near Parliament in February 2010 with assistance from the RSPB and BT. This pair laid eggs again in 2012, however the webcam will unfortunately not be available this season.
A pair has been present at Charing Cross Hospital since 2008, breeding successfully for the first time in 2011. Earlier this year HD webcams were installed to show their progress, and the site was made public. A new tiercel has replaced the resident male and the signs are good for a successful breeding season.
The Derby Cathedral site is one of the best in the UK, with regular updates, good notes and some excellent pictures. 10 second picture changes.
Brighton was the first webcam in Britain and has a very good archive, but the frequency of the picture change (about every 30 seconds) makes it difficult to watch for any length of time.
A pair has bred successfully in Manchester city centre for several years. High quality footage can be viewed on the webcam and Flickr archive.
Live images from the Peregrine nest site at St Wulfram's Church, Grantham.
A webcam featuring a pair on Norwich Cathedral, using a platform installed by the Hawk and Owl Trust in 2011.
High quality streams showing a pair nesting in a tray installed by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust at Nottingham Trent University.
A webcam featuring one of the most productive pairs in the UK at Chichester Cathedral.
Plymbridge can be very good and has an interesting commentary. The pair laid late last season and have not laid yet this year as of writing.
Cameras installed on a church spire in Worcester. So far no sign of a breeding pair here in 2012.
There are nearly 50 regular pairs breeding in a country with virtually no natural cliffs whatsoever.
A web page featuring multiple webcams showing both Peregrines and Kestrels. Sites labelled “Centrale” are power stations.
A pair has bred on St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral in the centre of Brussels since 2004. Now in its seventh year this project has an informative website including a webcam.
Oberhausen has now closed down for the season, but is a good site when in operation and is live.
This one website features a number of Peregrine and Kestrel nest sites and can be made available in English by clicking the Union Jack at the right hand end of the titles. The site at Bologna is particularly interesting in that the pair here often complete their clutch in late February, to be amongst the first in Europe. The names of the birds are used in the commentaries and it is helpful to know which sites are used by which birds — Aria and Vento nest at the Terna (Terna is the National Grid) office in Rome; Alice and Virgilio are on a communications tower in the outskirts of Rome; Felix and Aisha use a crevice in an older building in Bologna whilst Giotto and Momma Teresa are on the famous Duomo in Florence/Firenze.
A webcam showing a pair in Kristianstad, southern Sweden.
It is important to note that all parts of the USA are up to 8 hours behind the time in the UK. The effect of this is to make it impossible to obtain a worthwhile picture here until about 1400 UK time, because until then it is then dark “over there”. One can, however, watch these particular sites well into the British night!
Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group:
The well established websites at San Francisco and San Jose work well and are both live. (Commentary about these birds can be found at the following websites: San Francisco/PG&E Building Falcons discussion group and San Jose City Hall Falcons discussion group. For more info about the San Jose birds visit the San Jose Peregrines wiki.)
The Cleveland site meanwhile, consists of s series of batches of 60 still photos, one photo for every minute of each of the seven hours on display at any one time. Interestingly this makes it possible to detect the exact times when adults arrive and depart.
Peregrines nesting at the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning.
The Canadian Peregrine Foundation website is quite massive and from its large and comprehensive index it is simple to check several active nests and to access a vast archive of diary notes which have been amassed over the years. Another highlight is the wealth of photos and few viewers will fail to be impressed by those taken at the Burlington site in 2005, for example.
Links to several webcams, including hose in Toronto and some of its suburbs (Mississauga and Etobicoke).
Unlike the situation in the USA, Australian time is about 11 hours ahead of that in the UK, whilst the seasons are completely reversed, with high summer in December/January and the commencement of the Peregrine breeding season in about September. Thus, once the season in the UK is over, Peregrines will just be starting “down under.”
Alcoa Power Station, Anglesea (near Geelong, south of Melbourne)
The Anglesea site is a good one to follow, although the colour of the nest box is a bit of a surprise!
A pair nesting on one of Brisbane city's most prestigious highrise apartment buildings
Other sites of note
This site follows radio tagged Peregrines on migration between South America and their breeding grounds in the Arctic, with maps and daily feedback.
Nick Dunlop's website contains stunning images of adult and juvenile Peregrines in the wild.
Will James Sooter's portfolio contains excellent photos of Peregines at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and La Jolla, California.
While the number of breeding pairs in France is low, as in other countries the bird is having success in urban environments. Below are some links to sites about Peregrines in France.
Blgo following a pair of urban Peregrines in Ivry-sur-Seine, to the south-east of Paris
Peregrines in Nancy and surrounding areas, maintained by Patrick Behr.
Peregrines Falcons in Nantes, western France.
Peregrines on St. Cecilia's Cathedral, southern France.
Each season this has given reports and photographs from a vast range of breeding sites all over the world on a daily basis. It contains several very useful links and is able to serve as a valuable archive. Sadly, Froona died in March 2009, but her website is currently still available and is well worth a visit.
Update: Friends of Froona are working on translating her website into English. You can view the work in progress at the following address: http://www.falcoperegrinus.org/index-en.html.
Flickr is a website where users can upload and share their photographs. Images can be tagged with keywords, allowing users to search for all photographs tagged with a specific word (or combination of words). There are currently thousands of images tagged with the word "Peregrine," including wild birds from around the world, along with Peregrines from zoos, rehabilitation centres and falconry displays. You can subscribe to a Flickr feed using a free news reader service such as Google Reader, which will let you know when new images have been uploaded to the site.