A bird of the mountain crags. With between 90 – 110 breeding pairs Cumbria is believed to have the highest breeding density in the world.
Habitat – open country, using crags, cliffs and quarries for nesting.
Appearance – 36-48Ccm. A large powerful bird, agile in flight with spectacular diving to catch other birds.
Voice – usually silent, alarm call “ scraa, scraa, scraa”.
Food – birds caught in flight including wood pigeons lapwings and gulls.
Population changes / conservation – dramatic fall in numbers in the 20th century, they were persecuted by gamekeepers and landowners and breeding success affected by egg collectors. A population crash was caused by agricultural chemicals in 1950s and 1960s but now recovered due to changes in the law banning these pesticides