Police investigate as peregrine eggs fail to hatch

Peregrine Falcon on mill building
Belper's peregrines will not hatch a new family this year [Derbyshire Police]

The eggs of a nesting pair of peregrines living on a Derbyshire mill will not hatch this year.

The birds of prey living on Belper Mill fled their nest in May for a short period of time, Derbyshire Police say, after possibly being disturbed by work to trees nearby.

Their chicks should have hatched by early June but instead their nest has failed, and they will not produce any offspring this year.

The force’s Rural Crime Team is now investigating if any of the bird’s legal protections were breached by the works.

'Negligent nest disturbance'

Sgt Chris Williamson said: “The peregrines have been there a long time, to my knowledge almost as long as the mills have been there.

“There’s a number of bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts who keep an eye on the nesting site. It’s typically a site that doesn’t suffer any problems normally.

“We’re investigating a possible negligent nest disturbance. Up until this point the birds were displaying quite normal nesting behaviour and looked to be incubating eggs, taking turns, the male and female, to hunt while the other tends to the nest.

“This nest now appears to have failed.”

Anyone who can help Derbyshire Rural Crime Team with its investigation is asked to make contact.

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