If you want to find the most valuable egg in Nottingham this Easter, you should look skyward, to the top of Nottingham Trent University’s Newton Building.
A pair of peregine falcons – the fastest bird of prey in the world – have returned to nest at the top of the Newton building. The female laid her first egg in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The nest – a shallow tray of pebbles and discarded bird carcasses – is filmed 24 hours a day to deter thieves. The eggs can fetch up to £10,000 on the black market.
Two years ago, a similar city centre peregrine falcon nest in Leicester was ransacked by thieves who stole the clutch of four eggs.
The birds are protected and anyone who takes an agg or a chick can expect to receive a prison sentence.
The birds have successfully mated and raised young in Nottingham for the past five or six years.
The female falcon, who is being watched via a live stream on Facebook, is reported to have laid the egg at 5.40am on Sunday, March 18 – a day later than last year’s first egg of the season.
The female bird has been at the nest since 2012, with security cameras placed on her by the university for security reasons.
The original male falcon disappeared in 2016 and has now been replaced by a new suitor ‘Archie’, as named by webcam watchers.
Many people expressed concerns about the birds’ safety after the heavy snowfall over the weekend but it appears that, since the egg has arrived, the pair have been ‘very attentive’.
The female, known as ‘Mrs P’, usually lays four eggs arriving two to three days apart.
The pair are being watched by NTU’s Sustainablity Team and Notts Wildlife Trust, with live updates through their social media accounts.
You can keep up with the action by following the video link here.