News archive

June 2017

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Bolton Peregrine

Bolton Peregrine

Article courtesy of the Bolton News.

A YOUNG peregrine falcon which fell from the sky in Bolton town centre after struggling to fly was saved by firemen who took it back to its town hall nest.
The fledgling hit the ground in front of shoppers outside Poundland after failing to soar from its Bolton Town Hall nest.
The RSPCA was called to rescue the bird before it was taken to Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Nantwich.
Fire crews from Bolton were called to help put the bird back into its home on Monday, as the rest of its family were nesting on top of Bolton Parish Church.
Steve Wickham, of the RSPCA, said: "It tried to fly and failed and was found outside Poundland where lots of people started to crowd around it.
"We took it to the bird hospital and it underwent full vet checks to make sure it was okay.
"It's absolutely fine so we've popped it back up on its nest and tagged it so if it goes missing again it should be all right.
"People steal falcons to keep them as pets because they're such a rare species. People will even steal their eggs to keep but they're very protective birds."
The falcon family has nests at Bolton Parish Church and Bolton Town Hall. The adults mate once a year.
Judith Smith, of Manchester Raptor Group, originally placed a tray for the birds to nest in at the town hall in 2008.
Mrs Smith said: "They are like toddlers and they need time to get used to flying and strengthen their flight muscles. It doesn't surprise me to hear that one has fallen but let's hope it is the last time.
"It has probably started to fly around the town centre and ran out of steam."
The birds breed once a year and lay eggs at the end of March before they hatch at the end of April.
Mrs Smith added: "They tend to fledge in the middle of June as they are doing now.
"They tend to fly around the town centre learning to catch their prey in mid air until their parents push them out around August time.
"The rest of the birds live at the parish church so only return to the town hall to mate and lay their eggs."
Watch manager Ian Read said: "Getting it back up there was absolutely fine. It went up nice and bonny back on its nest. We climbed on to the ledge of the building and climbed up behind the clock tower. We stood on the small balcony just to make it safe for the RSPCA officer to put it back."
Falcons feed on a variety of birds and mammals and help to keep the town centre pigeon population under control.