Help to save lives of protected Peregrine Falcon chicks

Help to save the lives of protected Peregrine Falcon chicks nesting on Morden’s Civic Centre roof by reporting sightings of them on the ground.

peregrines paint

Two chicks and an adult Peregrine Falcon on the Civic Centre roof last week.

Four chicks have successfully hatched on the 14 storey roof of the Civic Centre this year, with staff on high alert to spot any problems when they take flight any day now.

Merton Council, which is based at the Civic Centre, is calling on residents to be vigilant too.

When the chicks are first learning to fly and land, their inexperience can cause them to become stranded on the ground. If a chick is grounded it will be unable to fly, making it extremely vulnerable and likely to die if not rescued.

A CCTV camera has been installed to monitor the falcons during the fledging period whilst the chicks’ wings and feathers develop and become strong enough for flight.

Peregrines have been victims of illegal persecution and suffered severe population declines in the 1960s and 1970s as a result of the accumulated effects of pesticides in their prey. The Peregrine Falcon is legally protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Access to the Civic Centre roof will be restricted during the time that the Falcons are nesting. This is because Peregrines are most threatened when their nesting sites are disturbed. The council is working with the London Peregrine Partnership, Natural England and the local Police Wildlife Officers to support the birds without disrupting the management and maintenance of the Civic Centre.

Members of the public who work and/or live near the Civic Centre, are asked to look out for grounded Peregrine chicks and if they find one to please contact the London Peregrine Partnership on 07807 738 699 or the Merton Wildlife Police Officer on 020 8721 2455.  They will safely arrange for the bird to be collected in a secure box and returned to the roof of the Civic Centre.

Notes to editors

The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest bird in the world and is able to reach speeds of up to 200mph when it swoops in flight.