Gareth Huw Davies


Peregrine falcons from English town fly in to international conference

One of the Aylesbury peregrines, on its County Tower nest above the town, May 2012

The family of peregrine falcons that successfully fledged in central Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, this year has shot to International (well European) stardom.

Two officers from the two local councils involved in the scheme addressed the first international conference on the protection of birds and bats in buildings in Zvolen, Slovakia in November (2012).

You can see their conference address to conservationists from across Europe, on this YouTube video here

Successful peregrine nesting projects were carried out in a number of British towns and cities in 2012, in most cases using nest boxes fixed to high old buildings such as churches and cathedrals.

The Aylesbury peregrines raised their two young in a purpose-made box attached to the top of the County Tower, headquarters of Buckinghamshire County Council in the centre of the town. This, presumably, was the reason it qualified for inclusion in the conference, over peregrines that nested on buildings of far greater architectural merit, because of the conference’s focus on problems faced by urban biodiversity during buildings’ refurbishment and maintenance operations – workmen are frequently to be seen on the outside of this building.

The conference made also made the wider point about the increasing importance of urban buildings as nesting sites for threatened birds.

The presentation was made by Matt Dodds from the Aylesbury Vale District Council biodiversity team, and Mai Nielsen, ecologist from Buckinghamshire County Council’s Place Service. Their expenses were met entirely by the EU.

I posted two pieces on my blog about the project last summer, here and here.

The two councils propose to repeat the exercise next year and once again attract these superb aerial hunters back to the skies of central Aylesbury.