St Walburge's opened armed welcome back for resident peregrine falcons

Peregrine falcons have returned to St Walburge's Church. Photos: Daniel Martino.
Peregrine falcons have returned to St Walburge's Church. Photos: Daniel Martino.

One of Preston’s historic churches has once again welcomed back its resident cast of peregrine falcons.

The rare birds of prey have been nesting in the tower of St Walburge’s Church in Pedder Street where they are expected to give birth to their baby falcons – known as eyasses – in around six weeks.

Joe Swarbrick and John McCann from the church.

Joe Swarbrick and John McCann from the church.

Joe Swarbrick from St Walburge’s said: “The falcon’s are superb, diving and swooping down trying to pick up young birds. They are terrific and look quite stunning.”

The church has offered CCTV footage of the newborns in the nest – but this year the camera is broken and the church is in need of some fund-raising to fix the issue.

The church’s resident historian, John McCann, said: “We usually put a TV in the church but we want to put it on the web for live streaming now.

“Around about June when the chicks fledge we will see 30 to 40 people coming to film and catch a glimpse of them. It’s always well subscribed.”

The falcons showing their feisty side

The falcons showing their feisty side

The church’s dedication to the peregrines sees between one and three chicks a year fly from the nest, and has been welcoming back peregrine falcons for the last 15 years with the hatched chicks getting the upmost protection to stop potential thieves.

Guided tours of St Walburge’s – which includes the falcons – are given by John every Saturday morning from 11:30am.

“The church is part of your life; we like giving something back,” said John.

You can donate to St Walburge’s campaign to fix its live streaming of the falcons by contacting John on 077720 426332.

Flying high above the church tower.

Flying high above the church tower.