Did You Know?

Peregrines are the fastest animals in the world. They are believed to achieve speeds approaching 124mph when plunging from the sky after prey. One has been logged by radar at 183mph.

Peregrines feed almost exclusively on birds, but they occasionally hunt small mammals, including bats, rats, voles and rabbits. Insects and reptiles make up a very small proportion of their diet.

The nesting site at St. Andrew’s Spire is among the most watched and recorded in the country being on surveillance 24 hours a day by special groups and a number of separate cameras.

During the Second World War the British Air Ministry ordered the destruction of peregrines due to the threat they posed to carrier pigeons. In the 60s and 70s they suffered from the effects of pesticides such as DDT, but since these organophosphates have been banned, their numbers have increased.

The peregrines' courtship involves some impressive aerial acrobatics. The male ‘loops the loop' after making a mock dive at the female. He also passes food to the female, often while in flight.