There’s excitement in the air in the Yorkshire Dales thanks to the arrival of three special chicks. Since hatching earlier this month, the young peregrines are proving to be quite an attraction at Malham Cove in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Visitors to the stunning site can enjoy great views of the peregrine family through high-powered telescopes at a special, free viewpoint set up each year by the RSPB and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA).

Thousands of people have already visited the site this year to watch the daily adventures of these impressive birds of prey since the viewpoint, which is now in its eleventh year, was opened in March.

Ian Court, the YDNPA’s wildlife conservation officer, said, “Now the chicks have hatched, the peregrine activity will increase over the coming weeks. The adult male will be hunting to feed his young family and once the chicks do not need as much protection, the adult female will soon be doing the same.

Peregrine falcon. Pic Ben Hall (RSPB)

Peregrine falcon. Pic Ben Hall (RSPB)

“When the peregrines are hunting and feeding, it’s a great time for people to visit the site as there will be plenty of excellent opportunities to see these incredible birds.”

Peregrines have recorded speeds of more than 200 miles an hour – about three times as fast as a cheetah – and watching them hunt is a wildlife spectacle not to be missed.

Ella Dixon, the RSPB’s Yorkshire people engagement officer, said, “Peregrines catch their prey in high-speed aerial stoops, which are impressive to watch.

“Peregrines started nesting at the cove 20 years ago and since then they have raised more than 40 young, so it’s great to see this continue with the latest arrivals. We hope as many people as possible take up the opportunity to see the peregrines in the flesh.”

The peregrine watch viewpoint will be open until 31 July and is run by RSPB and YDNPA staff and volunteers from Saturdays to Wednesday inclusive between 10.30am and 4.30pm (weather permitting).

As in previous years, visitors are being asked to stay away from the nest site and the British Mountaineering Council has once again agreed to impose temporary, voluntary rock climbing restrictions around the nesting site. An area at the top of the cliff has also been sealed off and visitors are asked to follow any on-site signage.

The Malham project is run in partnership with the YDNPA as part of the RSPB’s Date with Nature programme of events, which makes rare and spectacular birds and animals accessible for everyone to see.

More information about the Malham Peregrines can be found at www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/peregrines and they will be featured on Twitter using @malhamperegrine and on the RSPB’s Facebook pages.

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