Peregrine Falcon with the three eggs in the nest.
Public seeks comfort in connection with nature...
A popular wildlife webcam atop Nottingham Trent University’s Newton Building in the heart of the city centre is proving hugely popular during lockdown - despite the peregrine pair continuing to put viewers through emotional turmoil.
The webcam, originally installed on advice from Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust to the University to provide security for a family of protected peregrine falcons, has proved popular throughout the years but views increase by 1600% in March as the country went into lockdown. April’s figures have already surpassed 2019’s peak viewing figures – before even an egg has hatched.
In 2018 viewers were distraught when the female became ill and almost died and no eggs hatched that season. Last year viewers were delighted when the pair successfully fledged three chicks, but 2020 has already proved testing for webcam watchers with an initial egg now deemed unviable given that it has been in the nest for over 6 weeks; and viewers waiting anxiously to see if the other two eggs, laid much later, will prove more successful in the days ahead.
Speaking about the webcam Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust Head of Communications Erin McDaid said,
It’s clear from the massive increase in views during March that people are determined to connect with nature whilst staying safe at home. However, our pair aren’t making it easy for viewers. Whilst many nests with cameras already have chicks, we know that at least one egg will fail but we’ve got our fingers crossed that that others will hatch in a few days’ time to give loyal viewers and those new to our webcam some positive news.Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
Erin continued: “To have such high viewing figures before an egg has hatched is amazing. We’re delighted that the camera is providing a daily dose of nature for thousands of people but the numbers usually go through the roof when a chick arrives - so who knows what could happen to the number of views if we finally get a chick this season.”