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Peregrine falcon family win blessing of All Saints' Church in Stamford as new life is welcomed



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A family of peregrine falcons has won the blessing of the church where they roost as new life is welcomed.

Two magnificent birds of prey set up home in the spire of Stamford’s All Saints' last summer and have recently welcomed a pair of chicks.

Last week the chicks, a male and a female, were fitted with colour rings as part of a national monitoring scheme, co-ordinated by the British Trust for Ornithology.

Peregrine chicks at All Saints' Church in Stamford
Peregrine chicks at All Saints' Church in Stamford

The visit was made under special licence by conservationists Dr Tim Mackrill and Paul Stammers, peregrine experts Phil Littler and Zoe Smith and father Neil Shaw of All Saints’.

Tim said: “The colour rings will enable us to monitor the movements of the chicks once they have fledged the nest in a few weeks time.

"They were both in excellent condition, and this is testament to the abundant food supplies around the town.

Peregrine chicks at All Saints' Church in Stamford
Peregrine chicks at All Saints' Church in Stamford

"Pigeons are usually their favoured prey in urban locations, and that is certainly the case in Stamford. It was great to see the birds faring so well.”

As the chicks grow older they have become increasingly vocal and the calls of the peregrines are becoming a familiar sound to shoppers in Stamford town centre as well as worshippers in the church itself.

Father Neil said: “We are pleased they have settled here at All Saints, even if they do make a racket during services.

"Our hope over the coming months is to raise money to put a camera up on the tower. If anyone would like to contribute, please do contact the church on 01780 591417.”

Peregrine chicks at All Saints' Church in Stamford
Peregrine chicks at All Saints' Church in Stamford

Peregrines fledge when they are around six weeks of age, which means they are likely to take their first flights within the next two weeks.

Stamford residents and shoppers are being asked to keep a look out for the birds during this important period.

Tim said: “It is going to be exciting to watch the birds take to the air for the first time, but young peregrines can sometimes become grounded and need a helping hand to get airborne again.

"If anyone comes across one of the chicks in this way then it is best to leave the bird where it is, let us know and then we will come and check it out.”

Tim can be contacted on 07739 314794.

The team who has been monitoring the birds is also planning to hold some public watches of the nest during July so local people can enjoy close-up views of the town’s newest residents.



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