Infant peregrines take tentative first steps at Malham Cove

New life is becoming increasingly curious atop a dramatic cliff face in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Peregrine chicks emerge from their nest site in the crevice at Malham Cove.
Peregrine chicks emerge from their nest site in the crevice at Malham Cove.

The sight of two peregrine falcon chicks being reared by their parents at Malham Cove is delighting visitors and it is only a matter of time until the spectacle turns aerial.

At three-weeks-old, the fluffy-feathered chicks are inching further away from their hidden nest in a rocky crevice to the edge of a lofty ledge, and in doing so are offering a popular show for visitors to the peregrine falcon viewpoint below.

Run by the RSPB and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, the free public viewpoint is equipped with telescopes at the base of the cove and is open to the public between 10.30am and 4.30pm every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday until July 30.

One of the adult peregrine falcons perching on a tree by the face of the Malham Cove.

Anthony Hills, the RSPB’s area manager, said: “We’re really excited to have had the first views of two fluffy peregrine chicks. They peeped out over the bank holiday weekend, delighting our visitors, and it will only be a few weeks until they are taking their first tentative flights.

“We hope lots of people come to the cove to see these lovely new additions and their busy parents who are keeping them well fed.”

Members of the Rural Taskforce at North Yorkshire Police joined Ian Court, wildlife officer at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, for a patrol of the cove on Sunday.

Mr Court said: “We work closely with the police as we look to keep a close eye on the birds. While the birds are showing well we are encouraging visitors to help play their part in maintaining this as one of the most successful sites in the National Park by adhering to the on-site signage, and keeping out of the restricted area at the top of the cove.”

He said the next few weeks will bring lots of activity at Malham Cove as the adult birds hunt for food for their chicks.