Following the birth of two peregrine falcon chicks at St Albans cathedral this week, a third has hatched and joined the nest.

The third chick arrived in the evening of Wednesday, May 8, and matches last year's tally of three hatchings at the site.

The pair of peregrine falcons have captured the public’s interest since they first produced a chick in 2022, and this is the third successive year that their chicks have hatched.

In their first year at St Albans Cathedral. two eggs were laid but only one female chick hatched.

Herts Advertiser: The birds have been nesting at St Albans Cathedral since 2022.The birds have been nesting at St Albans Cathedral since 2022. (Image: Patrick Wainwright)

In 2023 the pair produced three male chicks. This year, three eggs were laid and have all now hatched.

The gender of the chicks is usually determined when the birds are ringed at three-weeks-old.

A webcam was installed at St Albans Cathedral in 2023 to provide the public with a birds-eye view of the species. This has proved to be extremely popular, and last year attracted 378,000 views of the live feed.

Herts Advertiser: A close-up of the female peregrine falcon.A close-up of the female peregrine falcon. (Image: Barry Trevis)

Heidi Mansell, engagement manager at Herts and Middlesex Trust said: “We are delighted that the eggs have successfully hatched.

"This is such exciting news for the natural world and for our community, who really have taken these birds to their hearts.

“The webcam gives us a great window to watch the Peregrines’ behaviour - it‘s such a privilege to have this insight to their antics.

Herts Advertiser: The male peregrine falcon at St Albans Cathedral.The male peregrine falcon at St Albans Cathedral. (Image: Patrick Wainwright)

"I, for one, will be glued to my screen over the next few weeks, watching the parents deliver food to the chicks and hopefully see them develop through to fledging.

“There will be times when the parents will be out of sight but I’d urge people not to worry about this, as they will be close by to protect the chicks.

"Likewise, as the chicks begin to move around more, they may disappear from the view of the webcam from time-to-time but in all probability, they are just exploring the rest of the nest tray!

Herts Advertiser: Two peregrine falcon chicks at St Albans Cathedral.Two peregrine falcon chicks at St Albans Cathedral. (Image: St Albans Cathedral)

“When you see these birds, it really resonates that the latest State of Nature report told us that 43 per cent of birds in Great Britain are at risk of being lost.

"The peregrines symbolise how vital it is that humans forge a connection with wildlife so that we can come together to reverse these damning statistics.”

Barry Trevis, who has been studying breeding Peregrine Falcons across Hertfordshire to help ensure the species’ safety, added: “Numbers of Peregrine Falcons fell through the first-half of the twentieth century to critical levels in the 1960’s but today they are protected by law as a Schedule 1 listed species of The Wildlife and Countryside Act.


"It is now an offence to disturb the birds in any way, and this protection has had a positive effect on their numbers, which have slowly increased to a point where the national breeding population is now considered to be in excess of 1,700 pairs.

“The webcam is an excellent tool in helping us to monitor the breeding success of these birds at St Albans Cathedral.

Herts Advertiser: 378,000 people viewed the cathedral's web cam last year (2023).378,000 people viewed the cathedral's web cam last year (2023). (Image: Patrick Wainwright)

"We will look to ring the chicks which can help provide information on the birds, giving us valuable insights to their survival rates and movements.”