Peregrines On The South Bank

By Londonist_ben Last edited 123 months ago
Peregrines On The South Bank
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Do you want to go and see some Peregrine Falcons?

We were enjoying ourselves today on a leisurely stroll along the South Bank (home of London's finest avian encounters) when we stumbled upon the RSPB outside the Tate Modern. They had four telescopes pointed up at the central tower. To the naked eye nothing could be seen but with the help of the lens the beautiful creatures were a delight to watch. The birds live up there for most of the year, temporarily moving to a romantic holiday home across the river with a slightly larger ledge to breed.

Falcons have been coming to London ever since the industrial revolution provided them with tall buildings and chimneys on which they could live and a plentiful supply of pigeons to eat. Despite a few hiccups during the world wars, (when the RAF were ordered to gun down as many Peregrines as possible in order to stop them eating carrier pigeons that were being to get messages to our allies - after WW2 Britain was down to ten breeding pairs) and the occasional dickhead shooting them or stealing their eggs, in London they are doing rather well. There are only around 1500 pairs of Peregrines in the UK today but numbers are steadily rising.

We found that watching them was relaxing and fascinating. If you're not after relaxing then there is always the possibility that one of them might tear a pigeon or Bill Oddie to pieces. The RSPB will be outside the Tate Modern every day until Sunday between midday and 7pm.

Last Updated 10 September 2007