Urban peregrines By Ed Drewitt
Published by Pelagic publishing Price £24.99
ISBN978 1 907807 81 7
Hard back 224 pages june 2014
With Derek Radcliffe’s monograph hardly mentioning urban Peregrines we have come a long way in just 20 years. Big tower blocks, religious buildings and industrial sites are all used by this now urban bird. The book is based in Bristol as is the author with a mass of information from around the UK and the rest of the world indicating urban areas are becoming the main stay of many countries populations especially in winter. Prey items were discussed in detail with feral pigeons making up the main single prey item but a wide selection of wild species.
I did not find the fact that 'night pollution’ allows the Peregrine to catch this abundant migration of birds passing over cities which included birds like grebes, crakes and waders as often seen on the 24 hour cameras at sights like Derby and Norwich. Interesting discussions took place with ‘racing pigeon’ men as the old predator/ prey relationship creeps into the cities. Peregrines were known to remove gulls from nesting on buildings they were using but no real mention of pigeons. The pictures show the buzz many photographers get from having these birds in their environment and one diagram on page 163 [word cloud] shows what the public got from their experiences watching these birds.
There are no graphs or statistics to put you off and the book is written to help you go out and enjoy these birds and even look for prey remain etc. You may not have been as fortunate as myself with one even nesting opposite the house on a cliff ledge I made in a rural area in 1992! But the book shows you how to encourage them to nest on buildings. I have had first hand experience of the disgusting destruction of Peregrines in rural and urban areas and only the population acting as a shield against the minority will save this bird in the future. I really enjoyed this book as I know you will too.