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Forth Road birds: Kestrels set up home in bridge girder

Workers discovered the couple while repairing steelwork underneath the carriageway.

A pair of kestrels have decided to make a landmark Scottish bridge which carries 80,000 vehicles a day their ideal home.

The inside of a steel girder on the Forth Road Bridge in Edinburgh has become the birds’ choice to bring up a family.

Bridge workers discovered the couple while repairing steelwork underneath the carriageway and found a nest with six eggs tucked inside at the end of a girder.

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Mr Younger on the Forth Road Bridge (Amey/PA)

Workers on the bridge have nicknamed the kestrels Mr and Mrs Younger after the former owners of the Kestrel Lager brand.

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.

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The Forth Road Bridge (Danny Lawson/PA)

“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.

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