Drama at the church of Helmet, the sequel (happy)

The second falcon orphan of Helmet was recovered through the Revalidation Centre for Birds and Wild Mammals in Brussels and people living in the neighbourhood of the church who reported his presence in a garden! What a good news! Because, considering the death of his parents, he had absolutely no chance of survival.

It is a male. Weighing, measurements, rapid clinical examination; he is neither wounded nor undernourished! We really arrived at the right time to visit this nest! A few days later, we would probably have found the whole family dead ...

We need to find a host family for this second orphan. At the same time, one of the juvenile falcons of St. Hubert Church in Watermael-Boitsfort is found on the ground just in front of the building. He missed his first flight! His two sisters and his brother are doing the 100m steps on the ridge of the church. We have to put him back up there, as soon as possible, so that it is safe and can take his first fledging-flight (no, his second flight!) and still receive food from his parents. The problem is that this year the Peregrine pair of Watermael-Boitsfort does not nest on "her balcony" that is located at the top of the bell tower and is accessible via a staircase. This year, the female has laid in the cornice of the main nave. No way to access it!

In such an exceptional case, we can count on the help of the help service of the Fire Brigade and Emergency Medical Service of the Brussels-Capital Region (SIAMU), with which the BXL Revalidation Centre has developed a structural collaboration. But caramba, this juvenile falcon of Watermael-Boitsfort has the same age as the Helmet's orphan! So an ideal foster family! Mother Peregrine has nested on the Saint Hubert Church since 2018. She hatched in 2014 in Germany, 180 km away. Her male was not yet formally identified this spring, but between 2012 and 2018, it was a Peregrine that hatched at the cathedral in the spring of 2010. So an experienced one!

No sooner said than done, the two juvenile falcons were mounted on the cornice of the church with the help of a "large ladder" from Bruxelles’ firefighters. The dexterity of the operator-firefighters is i.m.p.r.e.s.s.i.v.e ! In just a few minutes, the aerial platform who can reach 30 m high (so 8 floors!), reaches the ridge. The juvenile falcons are immediately released, and the ladder goes down again. Mission succeeded.

The follow-up of the  juvenile falcons of the Church of Helmet adopted in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre and Watermael-Boitsfort is not easy, for example because the camera of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre is blocked for the moment and cannot be oriented. But observations made at a distance seem to indicate that everything is going well!


Blog 27/05/2019 photos:

Photo 1: The operation begins with a briefing of the firefighters on the handling of Peregrine Falcons (photo Audrey Vanderlinden).

Photo 2: The large-ladder of  fire brigade  going up to the cornice of the church of Watermael-Boitsfort in order to put the 2  juvenile falcons  safely up there (photo Audrey Vanderlinden).

Photo 3: The 2 juvenile falcons (the clumsy and the Helmet orphan) are placed on the cornice (photo DV).

Photo 4: In the family of Watermael-Boitsfort, I request Father Peregrine ... (photo DV).

Photo 5: Mother Peregrine ... (photo DV).

Photo 6: two juvenile falcons on the cornice ... (photo DV).

Photo 7: the adopted falcon on the  cornice... (photo DV).

Photo 8: a juvenile falcon on a neighboring building (photo DV).

Photo 9: the  juvenile falcons of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre; the adopted one of the church of Helmet is right in  the image.

 Photo 10: A juvenile from Woluwe-Saint-Pierre tasted a prey that one of his parents brought him on the balcony of the bell tower.