ANOTHER Date with Nature is set to officially launch at Chichester Cathedral tomorrow.
With the public already captivated by last week’s arrival of a fourth egg in the peregrines’ nest, there is now an opportunity to get even closer to the much-loved birds.
Organised by the RSPB, the project gives visitors the rare chance to see the peregrines at close range without disturbing them.
Volunteers will be on hand to give information about the birds and a screen will show live footage from the nest.
The peregrine duo has already raised an impressive 42 chicks together and visitors will be able to see the pair incubating their eggs, rearing their chicks and, hopefully, the chicks successfully leaving the nest this summer.
Lauren Terry, RSPB Date with Nature project officer, said: “This project offers a fascinating insight to the lives of these beautiful birds and a great opportunity to connect to the nature which lives around, or in this case, above us.
“These are an incredibly successful pair of peregrines and, with four eggs laid this year, I’ve got my fingers crossed for another brood of healthy chicks but we will have to wait and see.”
The peregrines have chosen the cathedral as their preferred nest site for the last 12 years.
Cathedral spokeswoman Ruth Poyner said: “It is a complete privilege to have these two majestic falcons breeding year on year in the cathedral turrets – they provide a rare opportunity for the cathedral’s thousands of visitors to get a close look at the life and behaviour of these extraordinary birds of prey.”
Throughout the project, volunteers will be on hand to help visitors use telescopes, talk to them about the birds and discuss the work of the RSPB.
At first they will be based at the cathedral’s Cloisters Café but will move to the Cathedral Green at the beginning of June, when the young start to learn to fly.
“Right now, the female is spending her time sitting on the eggs,” said Lauren.
“She regularly moves about, changing position, which gives you a chance to see the eggs. The female does most of the incubating, but the male tries to help out to give her a chance to stretch and get some exercise.”
Incubation takes around 28 to 33 days, meaning visitors could see chicks hatching during the first two weeks of the project.
The Date with Nature project aims to inspire the public about wildlife conservation and offers an opportunity to gather support for the RSPB through recruiting new members.
Live footage from the innovative nestcam is also available to view on the Observer website.
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