Following the return of the popular Manchester Peregrine Project for its twelfth season, the peregrine pair have been delighting RSPB staff, volunteers and visitors to the city centre viewpoints. However, sadly, it looks as though there won’t be any young raised this year.
The RSPB spotted at least three eggs in the nest in the past couple of weeks, with incubation taking place. However, the eggs have now disappeared from the nest, dashing hopes of a successful season.
Katy van Woerdekom, RSPB Area Manager said: “We don’t know for certain what has happened to the eggs. The location of the nest, high up on an inaccessible building means that it is unlikely that they have been illegally taken by humans. We believe it is much more likely to be down to natural causes.”
It has been a dramatic few years for Manchester’s peregrines. In 2016 they failed to breed for the first time since the project began in 2007, because the male bird was injured and had to be taken into a wildlife hospital to recover. He was released back into the wild but by then the female had found a new partner - her son from a previous season. Last year, she stuck with her son and they bred, raising three chicks. However, sadly only one chick survived.
Katy added: “To find that the female had laid eggs gave us high hopes for a more successful year in 2018, but it wasn’t meant to be. We would like to thank the Manchester Raptor Group and RSPB volunteers for continuing to keep a watchful eye on the nest. We are still getting really great views of the parents nearly every day, so if you are in the city centre in the coming weeks, take some time out from work or shopping, to see these fantastic birds. As the fastest animal on the planet, they can’t fail to impress, and who knows what action will unfold as they hunt above Manchester.”
The Manchester Peregrine Project is a partnership between the RSPB and Manchester City Council. Viewpoints in Exchange Square are being run by the RSPB from now until Sunday 15 July and can be found every day from 10.30am-6pm. Occasionally viewpoints may be set up in other city centre locations when Exchange Square is in other use.
Regular peregrine updates can be found via Twitter @RSPBManchester and the RSPB North West Facebook page facebook.com/RSPBNorthWest. The public are invited to report any peregrine activity they see to these pages too.
The project forms part of the RSPB’s Date with Nature programme of events, which make rare and spectacular wildlife accessible for everyone to see. To help support the peregrine project in Manchester, please make a donation through the Just Giving page -justgiving.com/mcrperegrines.
More information on the project can be found by visiting rspb.org.uk/datewithnature and clicking on the Manchester peregrines page in the ‘Find a date’ section.