SCOTLAND’s peregrines have started to display mating behaviour for the first time this season.
Delighted conservationists at the Falls of Clyde have confirmed that the birds have begun to show signs they are ready to breed.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust hope that this year the birds will produce eyases – peregrine chicks.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust Falls of Clyde Ranger, Laura Preston, said: “Peregrines mate for life, but each year they renew their affinity for each other with a complex set of rituals which is known as pair bonding.
“After this behaviour, mating is the next step in the breeding process and then they must decide on a nest. A safe nesting spot is essential because otherwise the female can prevent the eggs becoming fertilised.
“Everyone here is keeping their fingers crossed that this happens soon.”
In order to ensure the safety of the peregrines, the Scottish Wildlife Trust runs the People’s Postcode Lottery Peregrine Watch, a 24-hour surveillance and monitoring programme supported by a team of dedicated volunteers.
This work is necessary because peregrine falcons, like many bird of prey, are under constant threat from poachers, egg collectors and thieves.
Falls of Clyde is one of the best places in the UK to view breeding peregrines up close. The birds are among the fastest animals on the planet, reaching speeds of up to 200 miles per hour when diving for prey.
The peregrine viewing area at the Falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve is open every day 10.00am-4.00pm which gives the public an opportunity to benefit from live interpretation and learn about these amazing birds.
People can also keep up-to-date by reading the Falls of Clyde blog at http://blogs.scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/fallsofclyde/.