The peregrine falcons have returned to the rooftops of Merton Council’s Civic Centre offices, with a live webcam giving residents a close up view as the females prepare to lay eggs and welcome new chicks in the spring.
The settlement marks the fourth year running the peregrines have taken to the 14 storey building in Morden, having first arrived at the council’s headquarters in 2015. They are being monitored by the council alongside the London Peregrine Partnership.
This year, the birds have been gifted a new box from the London Peregrine Partnership. The nesting box has been designed to offer the peregrines protection from both the rain and the sunshine. It has bricks around the edge to assist the chicks to get back in the nest box should they fall out.
Birdwatchers and residents can witness around-the-clock footage of the falcons on the council website, which will chronicle the key movements of the baby chicks and adult birds. This will include the crucial fledgling period, when the chicks grow strong enough to fly the nest.
Last year four chicks put their wings and feathers to the test and took flight from the Civic Centre roof, with their journey being captured by a CCTV camera and live streaming.
The female normally lays three or four eggs in late March or April, which hatch about a month later. The chicks fledge at 38 to 44 days old. The adults then spend two months or more teaching the young to hunt before they become independent.
Council leader Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “Once again we welcome back the peregrine falcons to the rooftops of the Civic Centre. Residents, families and nature fans from across the borough can come together to witness the fascinating process, from the laying of the eggs to the moment when the chicks are ready to fly solo.
“I wish the falcons a safe and peaceful nesting season.”
View the live webcam by visiting the Merton Council website.
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.