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Peregrines in Litvínov are already brooding


The female of the critically endangered peregrine falcon, which regularly nests in the box on the chimney in the Litvínov site of the ORLEN Unipetrol Group, laid three eggs this year. She will intensively warm the eggs for about a month until the chicks hatch. Then, both peregrine parents will start caring for their new offspring. The young birds will receive identification rings in May and are expected to leave the nest at the beginning of the summer holidays. The falcon pair nested on the chimney of the heating plant in the Litvínov area for the thirteenth time and they have already raised a total of 34 offspring. All in all, 49 peregrine falcon chicks have been born on ORLEN Unipetrol Group’s chimneys since 2011.

“We are always happy to see the peregrines return to their regular breeding place on the chimney of our production site. People can now watch the entire upbringing process lasting some four months – from warming the eggs until the peregrines mature – at,” Katarzyna Woś, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the ORLEN Unipetrol Foundation, comments on the nesting.

Industrial sites are increasingly popular among peregrines as their breeding grounds. For instance, these adaptable raptors learned to use residual technology heat when circling in thermic rounds over the site. Ornithologists also believe they use artificial light to hunt at night or late in the evening. Thus, peregrine nesting is more successful at industrial sites than on the rocks, mostly in protected areas, where some tourists still disrespect the nesting birds. That can radically reduce the probability that they raise their young.

“Paradoxically enough, industrial premises are a safe environment for peregrines with many benefits. Chimneys are less disturbed than their natural breeding sites – rocks. In addition, peregrines have enough food, i.e., birds, in industrial sites and their vicinity,” explains ornithologist Václav Beran from the ALKA Wildlife Association. He adds: “It is also because most industrial sites are in lowlands, which are naturally richer, and partly because our open landscape has become poorer over the past decades, and the animals often find safe refuge in towns and cities, in industrial sites and around them.”

The peregrines’ season starts with courtship flights at the turn of February and March when the parents come to their regular nesting sites. During the first weeks of March, females lay one to four eggs, on which they sit for an additional 30 days until the young hatch. When the chicks are 10 to 25 days old, ornithologists climb the chimney up to 100 metres and ring them with identification bands, which enable them to monitor the number of these unique birds in the Czech territory.

About the ORLEN Unipetrol Foundation
The ORLEN Unipetrol Foundation launched its activities in 2017. Its primary mission is to support education and popularise science, primarily natural sciences and technical disciplines, as well as corporate social responsibility, emphasising local communities and the environment. The Foundation has long been engaged in supporting schools, teachers, and students with grant programmes. The educational project, ‚Plastík a jeho kouzelný kufřík‘, provides schoolchildren from the first to the fifth grade with an excursion into the world of chemistry through entertaining experiments. Educational support and the associated Foundation’s activities gave rise to many educational materials and outputs in the form of tutorials available at Beginning in 2024, the Foundation is also committed to corporate social responsibility related to the environment, support of local communities, and volunteering. Such activities include championing volunteer and community projects, fundraising, fish releases into rivers, nesting of endangered peregrine falcons, and beekeeping. The Foundation cooperates with many non-profit organisations on a long-term basis but also reacts to current events in society and emergencies. More information about the ORLEN Unipetrol Foundation’s mission and other activities is available at

Contact: Lucie Pražáková, director of the ORLEN Unipetrol Foundation, Telephone: +420 736 506 939, E-mail: 

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