Peregrine family take up residence in Trim
If you have been walking around Trim in the last week you may have noticed the calls of a falcon coming from the Yellow Steeple. Various recent posts on social media have now given away our closely guarded secret that a pair of Peregrine Falcons successfully bred there this year.
Two juvenile Peregrine Falcons fledged on 20th June, and we in the Meath Branch of BirdWatch Ireland have watched them take to the skies above the town and join their parents on hunting trips. They also fly regularly between the Yellow Steeple and St Patricks Church; the two highest points in the town, and both perfect look outs for Peregrine Falcons. The parents are continuing to feed the young mainly with locally caught Jackdaws and pigeons at the Yellow Steeple, and they can be best seen, and heard, from the High Street side.
The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest animal on the planet, flying at speeds in excess of 300 km/h, and is one of the most impressive birds in the world. We ask everyone locally to enjoy the spectacle of having these top predators in their town, and we trust that nobody will disturb the site; use of drones, for example, could cause them to abandon it.
There was also a truly appalling incident recently, where a Peregrine Falcon was shot in the Bective area, so we are aware that certain people locally still persecute these birds, which is of course a serious criminal offence and faces prosecution. Therefore, we also ask locals to keep an eye out for any disturbance to or persecution of these birds and please to report any incidents to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (www.npws.ie).
It is likely that the young falcons will disperse, true to their name “peregrine”, which means “traveller”, rather than establishing elsewhere in the town. Interestingly Trim’s motto is Semper Peregrinus Benini, which means we welcome the traveller, so we trust everyone in the town, as well as visitors, will warmly welcome this family of Peregrines, which add greatly to the biodiversity of County Meath.
The Meath branch of BirdWatch Ireland will host a zoom talk on the Peregrine Falcon, details to follow. For more information on these amazing birds, please see https://birdwatchireland.ie/birds/peregrine
It is important for everyone to note that all wild birds are protected. It is in addition illegal under the Wildlife Act and EU law to disturb wild birds during the period of breeding and rearing of chicks.