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Is a peregrine likely to use the same nesting spot every year?

Sent in by Alistair McCabe, Dundee

The breeding season for peregrine falcons starts from March onwards and nest locations can vary from natural sites such as cliff ledges or rocky outcrops to man-made structures such as building ledges and the occasional disused chimney stack. 

Ultimately the nest location will depend on the resources available, food for example, which for peregrine falcons consists of small- to medium-sized birds.

The nest itself will form a simple hollow scrape, in which no nesting material is used. A scrape is usually made by the female bird using her legs and chest.

Within a pair’s territory, there may in fact be more than one nest site and where food resource and suitable climate is agreeable it is most likely that the pair will remain within the same general area and may certainly use the same nesting territory.

Established pairs of peregrine falcons, which have existing nesting territories will normally remain together outside of the breeding season. The pair may remain together from one season to the next and where pairs are resident, this bond may be life-long. 

Peregrine falcons often remain in a family unit until the autumn and established pairs have been known to hunt together during the winter although the pairs will break up when times are hard with individual birds wandering widely, as the name suggests.

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