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Fledgling Peregrine on the roof of stadiummk flies the nest

Date Posted:21/07/2015

stadiummkA single Peregrine was spotted at stadiummk in 2013 during the football season. Its pursuit of pigeons has been witnessed by thousands of football spectators during the 2013-14 football season!

This February 2015, a pair of Peregrines were seen for the first time and later nested in an old crow’s nest in the upper reaches of the stadiummk roofline.
Martin Kincaid, Biodiversity Officer at The Parks Trust, said: “The great news is, the fledgling Peregrine has flown the nest this July 2015, this is a first for Milton Keynes and only the second known breeding site in Buckinghamshire.

“It’s really exciting that these spectacular birds have chosen to nest in stadiummk and have successfully raised their first chick. We look forward to working with MK Dons to ensure that they can nest safely in years to come.”

Senior Investigations Officer, RSPB, Mark Thomas said: “Peregrines are doing really well in urban areas but I think this might be the first ever pair to breed on a football ground, something for everyone to cheer!”

Later this year, a nesting platform will be installed in the stadium offering the birds an improved nesting site. Buckinghamshire Bird Club will help to monitor the birds and ring the young each year.

Fact File by Martin Kincaid, Biodiversity Officer at The Parks Trust:

  • The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) is the world’s fastest predatory animal.  In their hunting stoops they can reach speeds of 180 mph.
  • In the 1960s and 1970s, Peregrines were close to extinction in England. This was largely as a result of the actions of egg collectors. Peregrine eggs were highly sought after. They were also victims of DDT poisoning.
  • Fully protected species in UK and Europe.
  • The UK population has recovered and today there are roughly 1500 nesting pairs.
  • Peregrines feed exclusively on other bird species, notably pigeons and song birds. Over 100 prey species have been noted.  They kill their prey in flight at great speed and carry it back to their feeding ledge or nest.
  • 3-4 eggs are usually laid but only 1-2 birds usually survive to fledge.
  • The male is called the Tiercel and the female is called the Falcon.