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Wednesday 25 January 2023

Parliament - New Nest Box

As part of the future works at Parliament, mitigation in the shape of a new nest box was installed in early January, with the old box on Victoria Tower being de rigged-on January 13th. The new nest position is on Riverside Tower and the best way to view it is from Westminster Bridge. It is an internal  walk in box, with an exterior ledge for exercising juveniles and feeding.

                                                         View from Westminster Bridge

                                                            View from across the river

With a new Falcon now gracing Parliament, seems to be happening at a few sites I monitor at the moment, it is level ground in regard to choosing a nest site. In 2022 with the new Falcon, she ignored the Victoria Tower nest box but instead chose another position.

She obviously has her own ideas as to where she will finally decide on, but it is nature, and it/she will take its own course in regards to choosing a site where to lay. I would have liked to have seen the new position in situ earlier, in 2022, but circumstances prevented this.

I have no doubt they are aware of it, but as yet neither it seems have the inclination or urge to investigate, no doubt with no bond to it, much could be down to the weather. Warmer sunnier days may bring on investigative behaviour and even if Feral Pigeons found it, it would draw the eyes of the Peregrines to the position.

                                            Millbank Tower - the pair just about to copulate



                                      Relatively close - the view from Battersea Power Station

Before the Battersea Power Station pair accepted the new nest box, Feral Pigeons also took a shine to it, even entering the nest box on a couple of occasions before being targeted by the Tiercel. This may have drawn the peregrines to it sooner, hard to say.

Such is the strength of the breeding urge, I have seen a Wood Pigeon rather unwisely challenge a female Peregrine for a nest box, obviously from a safe distance. A staring contest ensued before the Woodie retreated, not the brightest spark in the box but shows the strength of a potential nest site.

The Woodie had been all over the box, previous to the Peregrines claiming it, and had even landed on top of the box when the Falcon was resting up inside.

With the case of Parliament, it is entirely possible that this may happen as there are a few Feral Pigeons around at the higher levels.

Fingers crossed.

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