Wild About Manchester

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Wednesday 4 July 2012

Time is running out to see the young peregrines currently circling above Manchester city centre.

The four juveniles, who took their maiden flights in a haze of rain in early June, are currently being taught how to fend for themselves by their parents. But in just a few weeks they will be off to make their own way in the world and find a new place to call home.

Peregrines are notoriously stern parents and normally send their offspring packing once they are confident they can survive on their own.

Over the past few months thousands of shoppers and commuters have experienced the awesome spectacle of the birds of prey from the RSPB’s peregrine viewpoint in Exchange Square. Many more have also followed the daily soap opera of their lives via the live nest camera feed and Twitter.

Joanna Keene, the RSPB’s Manchester People Engagement Officer said: “If you haven’t been to see us at the Exchange Square viewpoint yet, then come down and experience the young peregrines in action before they leave their parents and the city.”

RSPB staff and volunteers will be at the peregrine viewpoint daily (11am to 6pm, weather permitting) until July 15. You can also follow the birds on Twitter and Flickr.

Manchester Peregrines forms part of the RSPB’s Date with Nature programme of events, which make rare and spectacular wildlife accessible for everyone to see.

For more information visit the RSPBs “Date with Nature” pages.

Wednesday 2 May 2012

The wet and wild weather hitting Manchester last week did nothing to deter Manchester’s best reality TV show from making headlines.

Whilst the RSPB stand in Exchange Square was battling with high winds and torrential downpours the pair of famous peregrines clung on and successfully hatched all four eggs, with scores of eager viewers watching the action live.  The first chick appeared on Thursday 26 April, almost a week earlier than the eggs from this pair last year, and was quickly followed by its siblings with a further two hatching on Friday and the last emerging late Saturday afternoon.

The city’s famous birds of prey are raising their young from a secret location. With drama rivalling Manchester’s famous soap opera, their daily fight for survival, parental disputes and sibling rivalry are broadcast live through their own reality show, provided with the help of Manchester Development Agency (part of Manchester City Council) and like any good celebrity couple, they keep their adoring followers abreast of all the gossip through Twitter.

 Visitors to the city centre can see the peregrines fly above the city centre as they hunt for food for their chicks, with RSPB staff and volunteers stationed at Exchange Square everyday (11am to 6pm, weather permitting), armed with powerful telescopes and binoculars.

Joanna Keene, Manchester People Engagement Officer said: “It’s fantastic that there are four chicks again, and just like last year we hope they all leave home successfully. It’s been great watching these little white balls of fluff through the camera, and the parents’ dedication to prompt food delivery is admirable, especially with the recent weather! I think most of us would just want to be somewhere cosy keeping warm and dry."

This is the sixth successive year the RSPB has run the Manchester Peregrine project. It forms part of the conservation charity’s Date with Nature programme of events, which make rare and spectacular wildlife accessible for everyone to see. For more information visit the RSPB Date With Nature webpages.