It is believed the birds, which are protected by law, were poisoned. They were found lying close together under the cranes at the weekend and have been removed for post mortem examination.

The birds were spotted by a member of the public and one is understood to be an adult and the other thought to be one of the their fledglings born in 2020.

The breeding pair have had a number of chicks since they established on the site some years back.

Nature photographer Brian Redpath, said he was heartbroken by the discovery at the weekend. He said: “It is absolutely devastating news that the iconic Harland and Wolff peregrines have been found dead below the cranes, presumably poisoned.

Source: Belfast Live

One of the peregrine falcons found dead under belfast’s Harland and Wolff cranes (Image: NI Raptor Studies Group)