News from other Peregrine Falcon families living in Brussels

In Brussels, there are a dozen (or more!) pairs of Peregrine Falcons. As is the case for all animal populations, not all of them nest, however. In some cases, it is because the building on which they settled, although very attractive because of its height and because it dominates the territory, does not present a good spot for the female to lay her eggs. In other cases, nesting has simply failed for one reason or another. Here is the latest news about three couples living in Brussels.

In the belfry of the Saint-Gilles town hall, the female Peregrine laid four eggs in early April. All hopes were set on observing a first hatching in this community in south-central Brussels. But then, on May 7th, the cold set in. The eggs are scattered in the nest. The couple is still present but they no longer brood. No hatchlings in 2018 in Saint-Gilles. The same female had laid and briefly brooded 2 eggs during the spring of 2017, but without success as well. Hopefully, 2019 will be better!

The couple of Peregrines installed on the church Notre-Dame of Laeken is made up of a female of Dutch origin, whose code on the ring could (still)  not be completely deciphered (it has been partially erased by time) and of a male hatched in June 2013 on an industrial tower in Olen in the province of Antwerp. The distance between Laken and Olen is 47 km. Nesting had failed in spring 2016 for some unknown reason. Failure, also last spring: during the first check of the nest, it had 4 eggs, which is normal. During the second visit, intended to go and ring the falcons, there were 6 eggs, abandoned in the nest and no falcons (see blog of 10/05/2017). This spring, the nesting was successful: 3 hatchlings (2 females and 1 male) were ringed this week, they are 3 weeks old. This means this female laid her eggs much later those in the cathedral, in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre and Uccle. This is the first time that a Peregrine Falcon ringed in the Netherlands breeds in Brussels.

Territorial Peregrine Falcons have been seen since spring 2014 at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Koekelberg. But no nesting has been observed so far. Most likely because they did not find adequate nooks to establish their nest. Everything changed this spring when the couple took over a nest made of branches, built in the facade of the forecourt by a couple of Carrion Crows. It is very unusual in Belgium that Peregrines nest in an old nest of crows. It has already happened in cliffs in the Ardennes and on electric pylons in Gaume and Western Hainaut. But this is the first time it happens on a building! The observation of the feet of the Peregrines made it possible to note that the female is offspring of the couple in the cathedral! She was hatched in the spring of 2015 and was spotted at the basilica for the first time on March 12, 2017 by Magalie Tomas Millan and found on March 25 by Bernard de Cuyper. They both have an excellent eye! The brood was ringed yesterday thanks to the help of the speleo club of Brussels. The nest consists of a female and a male. These are the "little Peregrines" of the couple of the cathedral!

To discover Brussels from the sky and to identify the nesting sites of Peregrine Falcon pairs established in the city, check out the interactive map at the bottom of the homepage.