Northerly dispersal trends in a lowland population of Peregrines Falco peregrinus in southwest England

Edward J A Drewitt*, Innes C Cuthill, Luke J. Sutton, Hamish R. Smith, Sebastian W. Loram, Robert J. Thomas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Little is known about the post-natal dispersal of Peregrines Falco peregrinus from lowland areas of England. We used the resighting and recovery data from 66 Peregrine nestlings (34 females, 32 males) colour-ringed in the southwest of England to outline their reported dispersal movements. Our results revealed that Peregrines, in particular females, disperse in a north-northeasterly direction, with females being resighted at greater distances than males. Males were resighted a mean of 44 km from their natal site and females significantly further (mean 117 km). Despite more recent local and regional declines in some areas of their UK range, Peregrines have been increasing at a national level in England and extending their breeding range into new areas. Our results indicate that Peregrines have the potential to continue occupying suitable vacant habitats across the UK. Dispersing birds from the southwest of England are potentially helping to increase the breeding population of Peregrines in other areas where they have been absent or scarce for many years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 105-115
Number of pages11
JournalRinging & Migration
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to everyone who has provided assistance, expertise and time towards ringing Peregrine nestlings, supplying subsequent resightings or recoveries or helping with the analysis. In particular we would like to thank: members of the ringing team including Adrian George, Jason Fathers, Rob Husbands, Anna Field, Gareth Jones and Nat Roberts; volunteers from the British Mountaineering Council including Colin Knowles, Daniel Donovan, Simon Fletcher and James Stockall; the climbing team in Devon, Nathan Moore, Duncan Kenny and Carlo Fiori; Dean Jones for organising permits and permissions on Lundy, north Devon; the Gloucestershire Raptor Monitoring Group (GRMG); staff from the British Trust for Ornithology, in particular Mark Wilson and Greg Conway; and Dr Sean Rands for his support, suggestions and feedback. We also thank the landowners and stakeholders who have Peregrines nesting on their land and have given permission for ringing activities to take place. Finally, many thanks to two anonymous referees whose suggestions significantly improved the manuscript. Our work was supported by funding from the Bristol Ornithological Club, the Hawk and Owl Trust, Gloucestershire Naturalists’ Society, the North Cotswolds Natural History Society, and the Bristol Naturalists’ Society.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


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