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Published: 08 Jun 2020   updated: 14 Jun 2020

Last year two peregrines set up nest on the rooftop of Ely Cathedral. We have remained very quiet about their arrival for the past year in order to give them a chance to settle in and to see if they were going to nest and make Ely Cathedral their home. We are delighted to say that they appear to have done just that!

Peregrine falcons were driven to near extinction in the UK through the use of pesticides and hunters. The birds are protected by laws reinforced by European legislation known as the Nature Directives. These magnificent birds of prey can grow up to half a metre in length and have a wingspan of over a metre.

They live for 15 to 18 years and are actually the fastest animals in the world and are formidable hunters, diving at speeds of just under 250 miles an hour to catch their prey. They are also incredibly agile and have been observed flying upside down to catch food dropped by a mate.

The name Peregrine means 'wanderer'. They can travel vast distances outside the nesting season but their incredible homing instinct leads them back to their favoured aerial locations! Some nesting sites have been in continual use for hundreds of years, used by successive generations of Peregrines.

We hope that they continue to nest in the Cathedral's towers for years to come and hope to be able to set up a webcam so we can all enjoy watching these magnificent birds whilst not disturbing them.

Note: Please refrain from using any form of drone around the Cathedral - this will disturb them. Thank you!

For further information please contact Lesley Ann Thompson, Director of Communications, Ely Cathedral 07930 918885.

Photo Credit: Simon Stirrup