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Peregrine falcons in Rochdale

Peregrine falcons have been nesting outside the clock tower at Rochdale Town Hall since 2008. The birds have attracted considerable public interest and they're regularly seen soaring above Rochdale town centre hunting for food. We built a nesting area for the birds in 2008 to help 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 

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

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

There are known issues when viewing the webcam in Chrome and on some mobile devices. If you're using Android on a mobile device, our supplier recommends using Firefox

Name the falcon chicks competition

With the fantastic news that 3 healthy looking young Peregrine falcon chicks have hatched, we're excited to announce a ‘name the chicks’ competition.

We'll be engaging with local schools, nature lovers and community groups to see who can come up with the best names for our feathered friends, which nest at the top of Rochdale Town Hall.

The 3 best names, chosen from your suggestions, will be given to the chicks with prizes for the winning entries. Up to 3 winners will each receive a prize of afternoon tea for 2 at the Clock Tower Dining Room and a short tour of Rochdale Town Hall. Further details are set out in the terms and conditions.

The young birds will shortly be ringed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), so we will be able to follow the birds’ progress as they fledge before flying the nest around July 2018.

The ringing is undertaken safely, and within the law, by qualified experts. It enables the RSPB to keep track of the birds over the coming months and years.

The council’s live webcam is being viewed thousands of times every week, captivating people from the across the UK and beyond.

Terms and conditions

Send your names for the peregrine chicks, giving your name and postcode, using any of the following ways:

  • The promoter is Rochdale Borough Council, Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale, OL16 1XU.
  • Entry is open to residents of the UK except employees, members (and their families) of Rochdale Borough Council.
  • Competition closes for entries at 12 midnight on Monday, 4 June 2018. After this time no further entries will be considered.
  • Up to 3 winners will each receive a prize of afternoon tea for two at Rochdale Town Hall Clock Tower Dining Room and a short tour of Rochdale Town Hall lasting up to one hour. Children up to the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Each winner will be notified by the same media they entered the competition.
  • The winners will be notified by Friday, 8 June 2018.
  • Prizes to be redeemed by Friday, 14 December 2018.
  • The prizes are non-transferrable, non-refundable and cannot be exchanged for cash.
  • Should there be multiple entries with the same winning name the winner will be chosen at random.
  • Rochdale Borough Council reserves the right to modify or withdraw the competition at any time and alter the winning entries without the need for permission.
  • No responsibility can be accepted for entries lost, damaged or delayed in the post, or due to computer error in transit.
  • The winner(s) agree(s) to the use of their name and photograph and literature by Rochdale Borough Council in any post-winning publicity.
  • Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
  • The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into over this decision.

Nesting period

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.

We're thrilled that 3 healthy young chicks hatched in May 2018. They're being regularly fed by their parents and we should see them begin to fly by the end of July 2018.

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 1,500 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's 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. 

4 falcon chicks named

In May 2017 we held a competition to name the 4 falcon chicks that hatched that year. 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