IT IS a nature project that has been fascinating conservationists across London.
But one group is less than thrilled about the nesting of a family of peregrine falcons at Charing Cross Hospital - the borough's pigeon racers.
Bird lovers have been eagerly tuning in online to watch the progress of falcons Charlie and Tom and their three new chicks, who were recently born in a nest on the roof of the hospital.
As part of a unique project, TV presenter Simon King installed high definition cameras in the nest to allow fans to watch the deadly birds' every move.
But while the falcons' progress has delighted most, local pigeon fanciers are fearing the worst as their prized pets are prime prey for the hungry peregrines.
George Morris, who has kept racing pigeons in the loft of his Shepherd's Bush home for 51 years, says one pigeon fancier friend has already had his flock devoured - and he fears his birds will be next.
Mr Morris, who lives in Erconwald Street, said: “I live about three or four miles away from the hospital, as do many fellow pigeon fanciers. As the peregrine's chicks have now hatched, it’s almost certainly a matter of time until our birds become a food source. Sadly, these birds of prey don’t discriminate between feral and racing pigeons.
“We are desperate for the impact of these birds on our racing pigeons to be recognised. This predation problem is devastating our sport and has been on the increase for years. We feel it's time to bring this to the public's attention.
“Like most animal lovers we are extremely attached to our birds and do not relish the prospect of them being picked off mid-flight by a predator.”
Peregrine falcons hunt over an area of up to 15 miles and quickly adapt to preying on animals at specific points in the day.
There are around 60 pigeon fanciers within 15 miles of the hospital and Mr Morris says the birds should have the same legal protection as the falcons, which has helped the species recover from near extinction in the 1960s.
He said: "Racing pigeons are far from being vermin. Feral and racing pigeons are a whole world apart."
There are about 60,000 fanciers in the UK who race their pigeons from April to September, using the winter months for breeding and husbandry. The Queen is a patron of the sport.