Last chance to see the stars of Malham Cove

Annabel Rushton

Friday 14 July 2017

People are being urged to visit Malham Cove to see a pair of Peregrine Falcons - and their three young - before a public viewpoint closes in two weeks' time.

The young are still dependent on their parents for food, meaning that they are still in and around the Cove - and putting on 'spectacular' displays.

"All three young are still learning the flying and hunting skills that will enable them to survive once they leave the Cove. The views of the siblings as they chase each other about are nothing short of spectacular," said the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's Wildlife Conservation Officer, Ian Court.

"It is a privilege to be in such a stunning location as Malham Cove and watch this happen right above our heads."

The free viewpoint is open Saturdays to Wednesdays (closed Thursdays and Fridays) until Sunday 30 July. Information Assistants and a team of volunteers are on hand to show people the birds through telescopes.

The Peregrines are not the only birds raising young at Malham Cove. The first young Redstarts of the year have been seen. It's hoped that in the next few weeks, their numbers will increase and visitors will be able to watch family parties as the Redstarts feed around the viewpoint. The young Green Woodpeckers, meanwhile, are on the brink of leaving their nest.

Paul Brady from the RSPB said: "It's a busy time of year in nature with parents raising their young, so there is plenty to see at Malham. This year's three peregrine chicks are still mastering their hunting skills, with the adults teaching them what to do. This famous falcon family are already delighting visitors to Malham Cove with their aerial antics. It's only a few weeks until the viewpoint closes for this season, so we hope many more people will come to see these popular birds in action before the end of July."

The viewpoint is part of the Malham Peregrine Project, a partnership between the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and the RSPB. The latest information can be found at:

www.twitter.com/malhamperegrine

www.facebook.com/natureinthedales

For more information, please call the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's Media Officer Andrew Fagg (Mon, Tues and Fri) on 01969 652374 or the RSPB's Communications Manager, Annabel Rushton on 01524 581026 or 07793 902590 or email annabel.rushton@rspb.org.uk

The Malham Peregrine Project forms part of the RSPB's 'Date with Nature' programme of events around the UK, which make rare and spectacular wildlife accessible for everyone to see. Dates with Nature give people the opportunity to get up close to all sorts of wildlife and enjoy impressive views of creatures they may never otherwise see. Most Dates with Nature take place away from RSPB reserves and are run thanks to partnerships with other organisations such as the YDNPA. Visit rspb.org.uk/datewithnature to find out more.

MALHAM PEREGRINE FALCON FACT FILE

· Malham Cove is one of the most successful peregrine nest sites in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, with at least 56 young raised since a pair first nested in 1993.

· Peregrines normally live for around six years, and so it will not be the same pair that has nested at the Cove every year.

· Peregrines feed on medium sized birds, which they catch in high-speed aerial stoops - although more often than not they fail to make a kill.

Tagged with: Country: England Country: UK Topic: Birds of prey