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Manchester peregrines: new home on CIS tower building.


Post-Springwatch I get lots of visitors reading the blog who have searched via the keywords Manchester and Peregrines.  I thought it about time I updated the blog post I did last year as things have moved on.  Yes quite literally!  The pair, which previously nested under the installed webcam at a secret location in the centre of Manchester, decided they needed a change of scene.

Being birds of a certain taste they plumped for the penthouse floor on the Grade II-listed CIS Tower owned by the Co-operative Society.  A very sound choice by the wise pair, being the second tallest building in the city centre at 387ft (opened in 2007 Hilton Tower/Beetham Tower became the highest at 554ft).  Snowdon may well be ten times the height of the CIS Tower but this Manchester landmark building is more than adequate height-wise and provides a healthy and perpetual pigeon diet right on the doorstep.

The Co-op are chuffed to bits the birds are nesting on their building and using the nestbox they built, rather hopefully, four years ago.  They released a  news update on their blog and this is the place to go if you want to get in touch with any questions.

Sadly, the switch of nesting site by the peregrine pair caught everyone on the hop a bit and though there was a webcam on the CIS near the nest site, it was found not to work and needed replacing.  The birds could not be disturbed once the nest was built so a team was tasked from the RSPB Peregrine Project to allow Manchester’s residents and visitors to gain terrific views.  Most Saturday’s the RSPB have a high-powered telescope or two trained on the nest and the bird’s popular posing spots.  Check the RSPB site to find out more details.  They should be at Exchange Square (outside the Triangle/Corn Exchange) until mid-July but do check the website before heading out.


Previously the Manchester peregrine pair have raised four chicks.  2010 has been less successful with two chicks being born.  That could be a result of the long, harsh cold winter and a resulting poor diet, no-one really knows.  The new chicks were ringed at the end of May which will allow further monitoring and tracking.  There’s a short piece featuring the very vocal chick above on the BBC Manchester website.  I am not sure whether they have fledged yet, but the male bird has been reported hunting and bringing food back to the nest only last week so my guess is they haven’t gone exploring just yet.  Do let me know and send a comment if you have any further information.

Nice to know the Manchester peregrine pair are back and the city once again has a fantastic chance to catch an intimate glimpse of one of the avian world’s star performers.

To read my previous post on the birds return to Manchester in 2009 (featuring some great still images taken from the webcam) click here.

UPDATE. July 2010. I am afraid I have some sad news to report.  One of the two peregrine chicks did not make it past it’s maiden flight.  Eyewitness accounts seem to be pointing to the demise being due to the young bird flying into an office window.  This does seem to tally up with the fact that the new nest site is next to the mirrored glass/solar panels of the CIS offices, who knows.  The second young chick also had a near catastrophe in the early days of learning to fly.  It hit the window of the nearby Crown Plaza Hotel and was rescued in a dazed condition.  After treatment and recuperation at the Animals in Distress centre in Irlam the bird was re-united with its parents and now seems to be doing really well.  Thanks goodness, one happy ending at least.

• UPDATE. June 2011. Click here to go to a further post on what has happened to the Manchester pair for 2011 who returned to raise more chicks this summer in Manchester.
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