A peregrine falcon chick successfully hatched on St Albans Cathedral last week, making history as the first of the species to be born in the city.

Earlier in the month, it was announced that a pair of peregrines had bred on the Cathedral for the first time ever and that two eggs had been laid. Since then, there has been cautious excitement in the countdown to the eggs hatching, along with high levels of interest in the falcons from bird watchers and the local community, who have been visiting the Cathedral grounds to spot them.

The chick hatched in a purposely installed nesting tray in a location very high up on the cathedral and is being tended to by its parents. The peregrine project is part of the larger Wilder St Albans project, a collaboration between Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and St Albans City and District Council. The Wilder St Albans team linked up with local ornithologist and licensed bird-ringer, Barry Trevis, to construct and install the nesting tray at the Cathedral.

Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, St Albans Cathedral and RSPB East have teamed up to deliver regular Peregrine Watch events so that the public can enjoy seeing these majestic birds close-up. Starting on 28 May and running over every weekend and bank holiday until 17 July, between 11-3pm, they will set up an area within the Abbey Orchard in Verulamium Park, where telescopes will be trained on the peregrines and their chicks. Additionally, there will be a camera and small screen for one of the telescopes, which will make watching the birds accessible, particularly so for children or adults in wheelchairs. Volunteers will be on hand to provide information, literature and to answer questions about the birds.

📸 (c) Josh Kubale