This tiny skull is from a noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula) - the scale is just 1cm square. It was collected from the roof of the Church of St Michael and All Angels, on Mount Dinham in Exeter in 1999. Peregrine falcons have bred successfully at the church since 1997 and reared a total of 48 young. During breeding season (March to June) a nest box webcam live streams footage from the roof so everyone can watch these now famous birds going about their daily business.
Peregrines feed on birds caught while in flight so it is no surprise that bats are also part of their diet. Noctule bats are usually the first species to fly in the evening, sometimes before the sun has set, and make a good meal for a growing chick. Feral pigeons are the peregrine’s prey of choice but they are not fussy eaters. Remains of over 100 different species of bird have been found at the church.