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See Ely Cathedral’s peregrines live on camera

A pair of rare peregrine falcons who have made Ely Cathedral their home, can now be viewed 24/7 via a specially installed webcam high up on the roof of the medieval building.

Ely Cathedral's West Tower and Octagon Tower
Ely Cathedral's West Tower and Octagon Tower

The peregrines were first spotted in 2019. They successfully hatched two fledging chicks last year which created much interest from visitors, keen photographers and ornithologists.

Having rejected the nesting box the cathedral provided for them near the West Tower, the birds decided to make their nest within a sheltered area by a gable of the South Transept roof.

Without direct visual access to the nest, it is hard to determine how many eggs the female has laid but expert conservationists are hoping for two or three.

Joss Palmer, event manager, has coordinated the project on behalf of the cathedral. She said: “We are all very excited that peregrine falcons have decided to make the cathedral their home for this year’s breeding season.

"We have been very careful to follow every piece of advice offered by experts from the Hawk & Owl Trust and we are so grateful to King’s Ely for funding the installation of a webcam. It is highly addictive viewing!”

Cathedrals provide ideal homes for these protected species which almost became extinct in Britain during the last century due to the use of pesticides.

Native to cliff tops, they have more recently re-invented themselves as city dwellers, using tall urban structures to replicate their natural nesting habitat. More than 1,600 breeding pairs currently live in the UK and cathedrals are a favourite home for these high-flying raptors.

One of the Peregrine Falcons who has taken up residence at Ely Cathedral (Ely Cathedral webcam)
One of the Peregrine Falcons who has taken up residence at Ely Cathedral (Ely Cathedral webcam)

Adrian Blumfield, chief operations director at the Hawk & Owl Trust, said: “We were delighted to be invited to contribute to this project. Without the enthusiasm of cathedral staff, plus the support of the Dean and the sponsorship of King’s Ely, none of this would have been possible.

"It shows how collaboration can work with real positive benefits and a unique insight of the resident peregrines.”

The Ely peregrines can now be seen viewed 24 hours a day live on the webcam. Access the webcam direct from the Ely Cathedral website – elycathedral.org.

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