Regular readers of this blog will know that a few years back a new nest box was installed on Victoria Tower, the purpose as you know to try and encourage them to obviously breed at Parliament. Peregrines being peregrines and the unpredictable creatures what they are, so far the box has been ignored although I have seen talon marks on the lip and disturbance in the substrate, I suspect this was possibly from one of last or the previous year’s juveniles.
The box was made by Brunel University from cardboard composite and is big enough to support a family of juveniles, at the time it was installed, position and more importantly the height were limited to basically one area. Much of the positioning, like some others sites is to avoid licensing issues if accepted, in many cases like Parliament it is not always ideally situated.
|The nestbox on Victoria Tower|
|Tell tale signs - Talon marks|
Having watched them for a number of years you get to know what height they are comfortable at, in short they need a buffer zone between them and any potential disturbance below, this is very important. Although looking from Victoria Gardens Park it does look quite highish, there is another structure directly below which does foreshorten the clearance, basically it would be better higher.
I think this is one of the key area’s why it has not been accepted, that and the fact that they already had an established nest site on another building. That is always going to be a big carrot to overcome, it is a successful nest site even though they failed this year, it is imprinted on them.
In the near future their nest site building which is right at the edge of their territory is due to be demolished, where will they turn to then, it very much looks like the building that replaces it will likely not be ‘peregrine friendly’. In terms of suitability much of London’s modern architecture structures are totally unsuitable with many being of the glass/metal design, sheer faced with not a ledge/niche in sight. This make them totally unsuitable for fledging 1st flight juveniles who invariably will lose height in that jump into the unknown, if there is nowhere to land lower down it puts them in danger, at the very least to low for the adults to feed them.
|The pair - where will they go next year?|
|The pair on middle Tower|
If the box cannot be raised at Parliament, and this is highly unlikely, there is another building which I know they use which meets all the peregrine friendly credentials, I will be approaching them shortly.
Having said all that and knowing how, at times they can be totally unorthodox, you only have to look at this year’s change of nest site position as an example, they are just as likely to be sitting in the parliament nest box now to prove me wrong!
Nature is nature and it will always do its own thing and go its own way, as a great man once said, peregrines never read the script.
|One from the past - Fox looking for the Dogs|