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A comparison of the diet of Urban Peregrines Falco peregrinus nesting in Bath, England during two breeding seasons

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPeregrine Falcon Populations: Status and Perspectives in the 21st Century
EditorsJ.Sielicki , T. Mizera
Publisher or commissioning bodyEuropean Peregrine Falcon Working Group, Poland
Pages555 - 566
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9788392096962
DatePublished - 2010


The prey remains of a pair of breeding Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus in Bath, England were collected on a daily basis in 2006 and 2007. They were identified and the frequency of individuals of each species quantified. The data collected between March and July of each year was then analysed. In the pair's first year of breeding in 2006 they raised four chicks, followed by two in 2007. With fewer young reared in 2007, the quantity of prey remains found was reduced by over 50%. The composition of prey species also changed. A greater proportion of smaller bird species were found in 2007. Domestic Pigeons Columba livia were the most frequent prey item found in both year (44% by frequency in 2006 and 35% by frequency in 2007). Alongside Common Starlings Sturnus vulgaris and Western Jackdaws Corvus monedula they made up the three most common species eaten in both years. However, in 2007, all three species showed a similar reduced peak in frequency reflecting their lower demand by the chicks. Evidence of nocturnal hunting was present in the first three to four months of the two breeding seasons. Other prey species showed significant seasonal abundances in the diet in both years, particularly in 2006. Future collection of prey remains from this site will allow further comparisons and understanding of urban-dwelling Peregrine Falcons in England.


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