Home sweet home! Kestrel pair found nesting on Forth Road Bridge

Pair of kestrels found nesting on Forth Road Bridge May 2017. Picture courtesy of Amey.
Pair of kestrels found nesting on Forth Road Bridge May 2017. Picture courtesy of Amey.

For most young couples, the inside of a steel girder with 80,000 vehicles a day thundering overhead would not seem like an ideal location to start a family.

But for a pair of kestrels nesting on the Forth Road Bridge, just such a location has become home sweet home.

Bridge workers discovered the birds of prey while repairing steelwork underneath the carriageway, finding a nest with six eggs tucked inside the end of a girder.

Maintenance Supervisor David Gill said: “When we saw the eggs, we immediately cleared the area and instructed staff to avoid carrying out any works that might disturb the nest.

“I’ve heard of kestrels nesting on the bridge before, but it’s pretty unusual. You’d think they might prefer a quieter location!

“We’re happy to have them here though, and have affectionately named them ‘Mr and Mrs Younger’.

“We’ll come back and finish our repairs once the chicks have hatched and flown the nest. In the meantime we’ve carried out a temporary repair on a local defect (quietly) and there won’t be any impact on users of the bridge.”

Kestrels are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which makes it an offence to kill, injure or take a kestrel, or to take, damage or destroy an active nest or its contents.