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A rarity: two peregrine pairs and five chicks in one industrial site


The peregrine falcon is an endangered species, with only 110 pairs living in the Czech Republic. Yet, their number has grown in recent years thanks to strict protection. It is also because the peregrines have become fond of industrial sites, which provide them with enough peace and food to raise their young. Therefore, it has been great fun this year on ORLEN Unipetrol Group smokestacks. Chempark in Záluží near Litvínov can even boast about fine new chicks, recently ringed by ornithologists. The local chimneys are home to two couples, which gives the chemical plant a unique position on the Czech ornithology map because peregrines do not usually nest so close to each other. ORLEN Unipetrol and ALKA Wildlife have been collaborating on the peregrine nesting project since 2011. The peregrine population has since then grown by 40 birds.

“This year, the peregrines in Záluží near Litvínov raised five younglings because we have two pairs here. One of them has three chicks, and the other has two. It is the only industrial site in the Czech Republic with two couples nesting at once,” says ornithologist Václav Beran of ALKA Wildlife, and adds: “The young are alive and kicking and well-fed. Each of them received two rings to monitor their future fate. The ringing is essential for our research because it gives us valuable insights that can also be used to protect this rare bird of prey.” 

The ringing has also provided information about the chicks’ gender. Two females and one male are growing up at the 100 m height of the heating plant’s chimney. Facebook users have already named them Mia, Žofinka, and Falco. Fans can even watch their life online​. On the contrary, the peregrines on the steam cracker had long been shrouded in mystery: their chicks hatched last in the entire ORLEN Unipetrol Group. One small female and one small male are now living on the steam cracker’s chimney. Their parents, too, wanted to have a family of three because the ornithologists have found a third, unfertilized egg in the box. However, nature has arranged it differently. 

“The peregrines also like our chimneys of the Kralupy refinery and in Spolana Neratovice. We are so happy that they thrive here. During the ten years of our collaboration with ornithologists, they have hatched 40 chicks, of which ten have been born this year alone,” says Katarzyna Woś, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the ORLEN Unipetrol Group. “We share our joy with the public who can watch the peregrines online on until they leave the nest,” she adds.

The peregrines start reproduction fairly early. The mating call lasts from February, and the female settles on eggs in March. She sits on them for 30-32 days. Once the chicks hatch, they do not stay in the nest for long. They can leave it after a month, flying around in the surroundings. In the beginning, their parents must be busy as a bee to catch enough food for their offspring. On the menu, they usually have pigeons, gulls, various small birds, and bats. The peregrine falcon can live up to 20 years and return to the popular nesting sites, which is also the case of the ORLEN Unipetrol couples. About 110 peregrine falcon pairs live in the Czech Republic now.


The ORLEN Unipetrol Group is the largest refinery and petrochemical company in the Czech Republic. It focuses on crude oil processing and on the production, distribution and sale of vehicle fuels and petrochemical products – particularly plastics and fertilisers. In all these areas, it belongs among the critical players on the Czech and Central European market. The ORLEN Unipetrol Group encompasses refineries and production plants in Litvínov and Kralupy nad Vltavou, Paramo with its Mogul brand in Pardubice and Kolín, Spolana Neratovice, and two research centres in Litvínov and Brno. Unipetrol also includes a network of Benzina ORLEN filling stations in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. With 420 filling stations, Benzina ORLEN is the largest chain in the Czech Republic. Since its entry in 2019 to Slovakia, Benzina ORLEN has been one of the fastest-growing chains and currently has 20 stations in its network. ORLEN Unipetrol employs more than 4,800 people. In 2005, ORLEN Unipetrol became a member of the ORLEN Group, the largest crude-oil processor in Central Europe. In addition to its business development, ORLEN Unipetrol is proud to be a socially responsible corporation. Therefore, it pays an equal amount of attention to initiatives, focusing on the cultivation and support of sustainable development, education, local communities, and the environment.

Contact: Pavel Kaidl, spokesman, telephone: +420 736 502 520, e-mail:

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