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Peregrine Falcons at Malham Cove

Visitors to Malham Cove will again be given the chance to see breeding Peregrine Falcons through an ongoing partnership between the RSPB and the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Peregrine Falcon at Malham Cove
Peregrine Falcon at Malham Cove, © RSPB.

UPDATE - we now have 3 - NO we now have 4 Peregrine chicks confirmed

NEWS - Peregrine chicks steal the limelight at Malham Cove

It’s official – there are at least two peregrine chicks at Malham Cove. The youngsters have been spotted moving about in the nest, much to the delight of peregrine fans. The eggs hatched earlier this month, but with the peregrines nesting out of view, it was difficult to confirm the number of eggs or chicks. With the chicks now growing and starting to move, RSPB and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) staff and volunteers at the viewpoint have been able to confirm there are at least two youngsters. However, there may be more chicks yet to be seen and visitors to the viewpoint are encouraged to keep a close eye on the action.

Ian Court, National Park Authority Wildlife Conservation Officer, said: “It’s exciting times at the cove now that we have had the first glimpses of the peregrine chicks. “Everyone has been eagerly waiting for the first sightings and it is great news that they have now started to show, with the staff and volunteers all looking forward to sharing the unfolding story with visitors to the cove in the coming weeks.”

As the adults continue to bring food to the nest regularly, visitors can watch the adventures of the Peregrines and plenty of other wildlife through the telescopes at the viewpoint.

Kate Struthers, the RSPB’s Yorkshire People Engagement Officer, said: “We should see the young peregrines in the air in the next few weeks, as they start to fly quite quickly. It will be fantastic for visitors to watch them learn to hunt. “There is plenty of other wildlife to see too, with the tawny owls still showing well on some days, along with green woodpeckers and summer migrants such as redstarts and spotted flycatchers.”

Peregrine falcons have recorded speeds of more than 200 miles an hour – about three times as fast as a cheetah – and have earned themselves the title of the fastest animals on the planet.

The free viewpoint will be open from Saturdays to Wednesday inclusive between 10.30am and 4.30pm (weather permitting) until 2 August.

As in previous years, visitors are being asked to stay away from the nest site and the British Mountaineering Council has once again agreed to impose temporary, voluntary rock climbing restrictions around it. An area at the top of the cliff has also been sealed off and visitors are asked to follow any on-site signage. Since it started in 2003, more than 184,000 people have visited the viewpoint.

The Malham project is run in partnership with the YDNPA as part of the RSPB’s Date with Nature programme of events, which makes rare and spectacular birds and animals accessible for everyone to see.

Volunteers at the viewpoint will be providing weekly updates on a special National Park Authority website and the birds are featured on Twitter using @malhamperegrine and on the RSPB’s Facebook pages.

2014 The project will run from Saturday the 5th April through to 3rd August, viewing point manned Saturday to Wednesday 10.30am - 4.30pm. Telescopes and information assistants will be provided to help visitors get the most of their visit.

9th May 2013 nest update. Excitement in Malham as three chicks hatch. Ian Court, the YDNPA’s Wildlife Conservation Officer, said: “Now the chicks have hatched, the peregrine activity will increase over the coming weeks. The adult male will be hunting to feed his young family and once the chicks do not need as much protection, the adult female will soon be doing the same.

Ella Dixon, the RSPB’s Yorkshire People Engagement Officer “When the peregrines are hunting and feeding, it’s a great time for people to visit the site as there will be plenty of excellent opportunities to see these incredible birds.”

“Peregrines started nesting at the cove 20 years ago and since then they have raised more than 40 young, so it’s great to see this continue with the latest arrivals. We hope as many people as possible take up the opportunity to see the peregrines in the flesh.”

2013 nest update. Start of the season brought very cold winds and snow but the pair do seem to be favouring last years nest sight, signs are good of having eggs this year although we can’t be 100% sure yet.

The Malham Peregrine Watch (A Date With Nature) will be at Malham Cove from Wednesday to Saturday 1030am till 430pm until the 31st July 2013.

2012 nest update, 16th May, 2 chicks spotted, 1 much smaller than the other, possibly a male & female, 7th June, Chicks Fledged, 1 day later than last year.

2011 nest update, 1st June, 3 chicks sighted on nest ledge, 7th June looks like 1 femal & 2 male chicks, 13th June 1st chick fledged other 2 still sat on ledge, 14th June all 3 chicks off the nest & doing circuits of the cove, 17th June Fledgling acrobatics around the cove.

2010 nest update, 1st May, 4 eggs, 2 hatched, 2 chicks in residence in the scrape nest

The Cove has hosted a pair of Peregrine Falcons since 1993 and for the last few years, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Yorkshire Dales National Park have run a special viewpoint, as part of the Society’s Aren’t birds brilliant! scheme. Last year, nearly 29,000 people flocked to Malham to watch the birds.

The Malham Peregrine Watch (A Date With Nature) will be at Malham Cove Saturday to Wednesday 10.30am - 4.30pm from the 30th March until the 31st July 2013. Optical equipment (telescopes and binoculars) will be provided to help visitors get the most of their visit.

Peregrine Falcon at Malham 2007 by Joe Cuthbert
Peregrine Falcon at Malham Cove, © Joe Cuthbert.

The project is part of the RSPB's Aren't Birds Brilliant! Programme of events, which make rare and spectacular birds accessible for everyone to see. As well as the peregrines, visitors to Malham can expect to see green woodpeckers, little owls, redstarts and cliff-nesting house martins.

Peregrine Falcon at Malham 2007 by Joe Cuthbert
Peregrine Falcon at Malham Cove, © Joe Cuthbert.


  • RSPB Information Officers and a team of enthusiastic volunteers will be on with high-powered telescopes and binoculars to give visitors a close-up view of the stunning peregrine falcons nesting there.
  • During the early summer, the area around Malham Cove becomes the peregrine's hunting and training ground and this gives everyone at the foot of the cliff a fantastic display of their speed and power. The peregrine is the largest British falcon and can reach speeds of around 180kph (112mph) when it 'stoops' after prey. These fantastic falcons are so fast that, to avoid injury on impact, they catch their prey mid-air with stunning displays of aerobatics.
  • The best place to start your visit is at the Malham National Park Centre, where you can get updates about how the peregrines are getting on and check on the viewing times.
  • An easy walk from the Malham National Park Centre to the foot of the Cove will give you a special opportunity to see these birds at close quarters. The Information Officers will also be able to point out other birds at the Cove, such as little owl or a laughing green woodpecker. Redstarts and large numbers of house martins also make the Cove their home. We look forward to welcoming you to the peregrine viewpoint!
  • Peregrine Chicks at Malham Cove RSPB Peregrine Viewpoint
    "Peregrine chicks at malham Cove © RSPB Information Assistant at Malham Cove
    "Information Assistant at the Cove © RSPB


    The Yorkshire Dales National Park Website also has 2 interesting Peregrine Podcasts from July 2009 & June 2011 Peregrine Podcast or you can follow the Malham Peregrines on Twitter www.twitter.com/malhamperegrine

    Peregrine Falcon at Malham 2007 by Joe Cuthbert
    Peregrine Falcon at Malham Cove, © Joe Cuthbert.

    Malham Peregrine Falcon Links

    The following Peregrine links may be useful

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