Four falcon chicks in Uccle !
The fourth falcon chick hatched at Saint Job's Church in Uccle this night. The brood is therefore complete and received a first meal early this morning.
At 07:16 (video 1), the female leaves her nest. She raises up very carefully so as not to injure her chicks. At this very moment we notice that they are 4!
Exactly 1 minute later, the female Peregrine returns to the nest carrying an already plucked prey (video 2). She obviously hasn't been capturing and plucking it in the meantime! How is this then possible? What happened? The female simply went looking for prey in… her supply (cache). Peregrines, like other raptors, make prey supplies which they hide near their nests in order to have food for their offspring. To what end? To be able to feed them in case weather conditions do not allow hunting. For example, in rain or snow.
When the chicks are still very small, the female almost constantly stays with them. Therefore, the prey was most likely not captured by the female, but by the male. The bond between the two Peregrine parents is strong. They hunt together, they brood together and they are feeding the chicks together. Furthermore, they help each other with prey storage. Here, the male captured a passerine bird and had the instinct to hide it for later. But he also plucked it so that his partner could directly feed their chicks!