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Peregrine falcons in Rochdale

Peregrine falcons have nested outside the clock tower at Rochdale Town Hall since 2008. The birds have attracted considerable public interest and they are regularly seen soaring above Rochdale town centre hunting for food. A nesting area was built for the birds 9 years ago, helping to provide them a safe haven to sleep, breed and raise their young. As the tallest building in Rochdale town centre, the town hall reflects the peregrine's natural habitat to breed and hunt prey.

Our recent award winning Revealing the Roch project was praised for renaturalising the river and helping to bring wildlife back to the town centre. More about Revealing the Roch.

Live webcam

See the birds progress throughout the nesting period as they raise their young at the top of Rochdale's most historic building.

The peregrine falcons and their chicks have flown the nest for 2017 and the live webcam stream has been switched off. It should return in spring 2018, ready to watch as these beautiful birds begin breeding again in early May. If you wish to see the falcons in the meantime, the adults nest on other areas of the town hall throughout the year and you can often see them flying around the town centre.

Website and social media updates

As well as the live webcam, you can follow the birds' progress on  using the Twitter hashtag #rochfalcons or on  Facebook  

4 falcon chicks named

In May 2017 we held a competition to name the 4 falcon chicks. Thanks to all those who entered.  The winning falcon chick names are:

​Names of falcon chicks ​Winners
​Freddie ​Sarah Pugh
​Millennium Falcon ​James Walsh
​El Superfasto ​Alistair Whitehead

​Class 12 Smithy Bridge Primary School

Nesting period

During 2017 the falcons laid 4 eggs with the first egg being laid on Sunday, 2 April 2017. The birds are most active at the start of the breeding season from February and March. Egg-laying typically occurs by the end of March to early April, with hatching usually occurring during the first week of May. Once hatched, the chicks should take their first flight within 6 weeks.

Falcon facts

  • Peregrines are the world's fastest living creatures, often reaching speeds of 200mph in stoop.
  • They feed off medium-sized birds, such as wading birds, pigeons and small ducks.
  • 60 years ago the birds nearly died out across the northern hemisphere. The numbers recovered and there are estimated to be 1500 breeding pairs in the UK.
  • Peregrines are increasingly found breeding on tall buildings in towns and cities, as well as on hedges and cliffs. The peregrine is afforded the highest degree of legal protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. 
  • It's an offence to intentionally take, injure or kill a peregrine or to take, damage or destroy its nest, eggs or young. It is also an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb the birds close to their nest during the breeding season. Violation of the law can attract fines up to £5,000 per offence and/or a prison sentence of up to 6 months.