Peregrine falcons have nested at Malham Cove since 1993. There are a number of historic peregrine nest sites in the National Park. However Malham Cove is now one of only seven or eight where peregrines regularly attempt to breed.
High-rise climber neighbours
Malham Cove is one of the most popular visitor sites in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and is a popular location for rock climbers. Over the years the peregrines have become tolerant of the large number of people who visit the site each year. So the nesting peregrines are not unintentionally disturbed by climbers, climbing restrictions are agreed with the British Mountaineering Council every year.
Bringing up a family
In 1994, only their second year at the site, the pair managed to fledge five young. This was the first time that this had been documented in Yorkshire and only the third time on record in the UK since 1896. In 1997 there were two failed clutches of eggs, but in 1998, what was presumed to be the same pair of peregrines incredibly managed to fledge a further five young!
Although the site was not monitored for several years, peregrines have continued to occupy Malham Cove. The exception was in 2005 when the adult female disappeared at the start of the nesting season. However birds have nested successfully ever since. They have successfully nested at Malham Cove on at least 21 occasions and have fledged a total of 59 young.
Thousands flock to view
The viewpoint at Malham Cove has been operated by the RSPB and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority since 2003. Here staff and dedicated volunteers show visitors peregrines and other wildlife. Since it began, nearly 250,000 people have visited the viewpoint to watch and find out more about this spectacular bird of prey.
This year we want to keep you up to date with happenings in a new way. We are going to produce some regular video diaries with our staff at the Cove. With a bit of luck we will also be able to show you some close-up of the Peregrines them selves.