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Page last updated at 14:08 GMT, Tuesday, 11 May 2010 15:08 UK
Live Peregrine Falcon cam - BT Tower, Birmingham

Peregrine falcons have made their home in Birmingham city centre for several years now. One pair has chosen to nest on the BT Tower.

We've rigged up a webcam to monitor the Peregrines, and the RSPB will be keeping a close eye on their progress.

Our aim is to see the hatching of peregrine chicks and to watch those chicks fledge.

However, at the moment our peregrine keeps flying away from the nest.

This is not usual behaviour - so it's a case of watching and waiting. Nature is unpredictable, so anything could happen.

In the meantime - Aston University has a webcam on a Kestrel's nest - currently showing a new arrival.

Peregrine cam

If our peregrine does lay eggs that hatch, we'll have regular updates from the RSPB and from Midlands Today correspondent David Gregory.

You can also follow the progress of our Peregrines on Twitter.

BBC Midlands Today correspondent David Gregory

If like me you live in central Birmingham then you'll be used to hearing the cries of our peregrine falcons circling high above.

Sitting outside the bars around St Paul's Square on a warm evening, you can often see them perched on the BT tower. They seem particularly fond of the new scaffolding installed by BT at the top of the tower just under the main dishes.

Webcam image of a peregrine falcon and egg
Webcam image: Peregrine falcon and egg in 2009 at Fort Dunlop

Of course living so close to these amazing birds does mean you sometimes wake-up to a pigeon leg on your terrace and a filleted snipe corpse on the way to work.

But sometimes you can look up from your barbeque and catch sight of the falcons. Magical stuff above a modern city centre where you might assume wildlife is hard to find.

And this year for the first time we can watch the whole journey from egg to young adult for the peregrine falcon family on the BT Tower. Against a backdrop of Birmingham we will have an intimate view of the four eggs as the hatch and grow up.

Bird's eye view

The view from our new webcam shows a special nesting tray installed by BT. Paul Ainge, BT's radio and rigging manager explains: "We've been approached in the past about the possibility of attaching a nesting box to the tower, but as it was built to move in high winds, that wasn't really practical.

Peregrine Facts
The world's fastest animal
The largest British breeding falcon
Wingspan 95-110cm
City-dwelling Peregrines feed on pigeons & starlings
2-4 eggs are usually laid
The world's fastest animal
Incubation is 29-32 days
At 40 days they can fly
They carry one of highest standards of legal protection

"Also, given the peregrines' preferred natural habitat of rough cliff-tops, a pebbled nesting tray seemed to be the best option."

At 500 feet tall I don't envy those who work on the outside of the tower. The new nesting tray was put in place by rigger Mick O'Callaghan who thought his colleagues were playing a joke on him when the first egg appeared!

Those who work on the BT Tower are aware of the falcons. Mike said: "We've found an egg amongst the aerials before, but this is the first time we've ever had a nest."

Regular updates

Check back for the latest updates from David and the experts at the RSPB. You can also stay up to date following BBCFalcons on Twitter.

Finally, look out for Springwatch on Midlands Today later this year which will bring you the full story of the BT Falcons and also the story of the Aston University kestrels.


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