WATCH: Peregrine falcons return to nest at BT site for third year

The Peregrines have returned to the BT tower at Adastral Park, Ipswich

The Peregrines have returned to the BT tower at Adastral Park, Ipswich - Credit: BT

Peregrine falcons have returned to nest at Ipswich's BT site in Adastral Park for the third year running.

BT engineers and wildlife teams installed the bird box at the top of the research centre’s water tower in 2019, providing a place for the birds to shelter in the colder winter months.

And now the peregrine falcons have returned for a third year running to the delight of Suffolk hawk specialists. 

Peregrine Falcons have retrurned to BT Martlesham for the third year. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Peregrine falcons have returned to BT Martlesham for the third year. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The sight of the pair of falcons raising chicks has also been captured on a webcam installed by the telecommunications company — a rare moment from these birds. 

Birds of prey specialist Peter Merchant, who works across the East of England helping companies make sure rare animals are protected, has also welcomed the sighting. 

Bird of Prey specialist Peter Merchant in front of the BT Tower where the peregrine falcons live. 

Bird of Prey specialist Peter Merchant in front of the BT Tower where the peregrine falcons live. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The story of these birds has been one of recovery as back in 2000 there were no breeding sites for them in Suffolk until urban sites were repurposed to house peregrines.  

In 2008, for the first time in 200 years, Suffolk saw young fledglings successfully raised from a mounted nest box under the Orwell Bridge.

Bird of Prey specialist Peter Merchant and Lisa Perkins,

Bird of Prey specialist Peter Merchant and Lisa Perkins, research and realisation director at BT Adastral Park in front of the nesting tower. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

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Every year since then young peregrine falcons have been produced from the nest under the bridge, and also more recently at the BT site in Martlesham. 

The introduction of the nest box has also meant the birds are less exposed to perilous virgin flights into the river below. 

But danger also lurks at the research centre where an image recently captured a fall of a baby peregrine, and him sitting in the loading bay.

The Peregrines have returned to the BT tower at Adastral Park, Ipswich

The Peregrines have returned to the BT tower at Adastral Park, Ipswich - Credit: BT

Lowestoft, Felixstowe and Bury St Edmunds also have peregrines appearing in high up places like church towers.

Bird of Prey specialist Peter Merchant having a look for the peregrines in Ipswich

Bird of Prey specialist Peter Merchant having a look for the peregrines in Ipswich - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown