AN ANDOVER church has launched a crowdfunding campaign with the hope of raising enough money to buy a camera to create a live feed on the internet of its resident peregrine falcons.

This year three chicks were born at St Mary’s Church after nesting in the tower, but only a select few people were able to watch this and their development.

Now, the church hopes to raise enough money so that everyone can watch the birds develop.

Karyn French, operations manager at St Mary’s, said: “They arrived last year but didn’t have any chicks. This year they had three chicks which successfully fledged and we have been told by a wildlife advisor that once they have fledged, they keep returning so we expect them back next year.”

She added: “We can’t wait to see 2020s brood, and want everyone to be able to enjoy these incredible birds in their own home. We want to install a professional bird cam to be streamed online.”

Karyn said the camera will be high quality to allow people to see the birds close-up getting ready to fly the nest.

The church needs to raise £4,020 to have the camera installed by Wildlife Windows, to allow everyone to watch the birds via an optical zoom lens with audio.

Peregrines are large and powerful falcons, and are most commonly found in the north and west of the UK and rocky seacoasts.

Their numbers plummeted in the 1960s because of human persecution and the impact of pesticides in the food chain, but improved legislation and protection helped them recover and expand into urban areas.

However, they are still persecuted and illegally killed to prevent them attacking game birds and racing pigeons. Their eggs and chicks are also taken for collections.

They are a schedule one listed species of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

St Mary’s has already raised £250 since launching its crowdfunding campaign last week, which was the idea of Julie Rhodes, from Studio Hair, who has been watching the birds from her salon.

Karyn said: “She approached us about putting in a live feed and said how much they enjoy seeing the birds flying and how exciting it would be to see them close-up. They have a bad reputation as being predators and killing other birds but they are beautiful animals that deserve protection.”

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