Norwich Cathedral peregrine falcons lay first egg on Easter Sunday

A pair of peregrines nesting at Norwich Cathedral have celebrated Easter with their first egg.

The falcons, which have made a home on the Hawk and Owl Trust's platform at Norwich Cathedral, laid their first egg on Sunday. The female peregrine laid the russet coloured egg while the congregation celebrated Easter Sunday in the cathedral below.

Members of the Hawk and Owl Trust and Norwich Cathedral are delighted with the success that came only nine weeks after the nesting platform was installed high on the spire.

Nigel Middleton, the trust's conservation officer for the eastern region, said: 'The eggs are usually laid two or three days apart so we are watching with bated breath to see what happens next.

'The female will do most of the incubating whilst the male catches food for her. Once all the eggs are laid, incubation should take about four weeks, so we will be hoping for chicks at the beginning of June.'

The egg is a particular surprise because the female peregrine is very young and still in her juvenile plumage so it was unclear whether she was old enough to breed this year. It is possible that up to three more eggs will be laid.

The birds of prey are the largest falcon resident in the UK and are making a comeback after the effects of pesticide poisoning in the 1960s. There are now thought to be 1,500 pairs in the UK and although their natural habitat is cliff ledges, over the last decade several have started to breed on human structures in cities.

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Members of the Hawk and Owl Trust have put cameras above the site so people can watch the birds on screens in the visitors' centre.

• Anyone who would like to follow the unfolding drama on the platform can watch developments via webcam on the Hawk and Owl Trust and Cathedral websites www.hawkandowl.org or www.Cathedral.org.uk.

Visitors are also welcome to the cathedral where the Hawk and Owl Trust is running a watchpoint on Bank Holiday Monday, April 25, from 10am until 2.30pm.

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