3 baby Peregrine falcons born at Cheddar Gorge
7th June 2011
Back in April, Cheddar’s Peregrine falcons laid 3 eggs in a nest 300ft up Priest Rock. In early May 3 chicks were born. When they were just 2 weeks old, there was a fracas between the Peregrines and some ravens nesting nearby. Sadly, the Peregrines lost one chick. Another chick had a tumour behind its eye but seems to be recovering and is putting on weight again. However, we’ve only managed to bring one chick to the top to be ringed and DNA tested by the British Trust for Ornithology.
Once hatched, the young grow their feathers and build up their strength. By June their parents will be coaxing them off the ledge and teaching them to fly and hunt for themselves. By mid-summer you’ll be able to see their anchor-shape silhouettes high up in the sky and hear their distinctive wailing call echoing around the cliffs in Cheddar Gorge.
These spectacular birds of prey were almost driven to extinction in the 80s, but are now making a comeback - a pair has bred in Cheddar Gorge for the last 18 years.