Uccle's falcons fly, or at least try to fly!
The growth period of Peregrine falcons is regulated like a musical sheet over six weeks. Confirmed by the Uccle’s family!
Yesterday morning at 8:00 a.m., the male juvenile falcon, identified through its black ring AXN, threw himself into the void! It’s always a moment of emotion and challenging behavior. Which incredible mechanism pushes an animal at a given moment to throw itself into the void? And yet that’s how it happens. Peregrines, whether on buildings or natural cliffs, very rarely have the opportunity to go "on foot" when their plumage is fully developed. Therefore they cannot practice flitting from rock to rock or from wall to wall. No choice, but to jump!
The AXN male falcon is therefore the first of the brood to take flight. His two sisters are also amazed! Watch the first video attached.
Second step: where am I? It happens the same day, at 6.30 p.m. AXN is quietly busy smoothing his plumage on the gable end of a house in Place Saint Job. Preening, sending white down, which still adheres his magnificent feathers, into the air. He also continues to build muscle by flapping his wings. To discover in the second and third video next to the blog.
Meanwhile, the parents are watching! This period is crucial for young falcons. If one falls onto the ground because it fails to perch on a nearby building or part of a cliff, the risk of being bitten by a Red Fox is enormous. Starving wouldn't be better! If a young falcon lands on the ground and cannot take off because its muscles aren’t sufficiently developed yet, the parents will not come to feed. With all consequences that we imagine. The female Peregrine closely follows the first wanderings of her AXN falcon while continuing to take care of the two sisters who have remained in the nest; you can see it in the fourth video in the appendix.
New adventure today: a young falcon is found in distress on the pavement of Place Saint Job, more precisely in the garden of M. the Priest! It is quickly recovered, it’s the female AXH. It is examined, weighed (945 g) and its wing is measured (304 mm). Nothing to worry about, not even a wrinkled feather! Immediate return to 50 m height in the bell tower of the church of Uccle. But in the nest there is still the second young female AXR which, at the sight of the return of her sister, takes off headlong as the video illustrates. She then takes off perfectly towards avenue Prince de Ligne, towards Chaussée de Waterloo. No doubts, the chicks have become juvenile Peregrines. They will now discover the World. Starting in Uccle!
Video 1: Departure of the AXN juvenile male.
Video 2: The AXN juvenile male perched on a house in Saint Job square in Uccle, muscling its wings (video DV).
Video 3: And now AXN is preening its plumage (video DV).
Video 4: Mother Peregrine sitting at the entrance of the nest next to the two juvenile females (video DV).
Video 5: The female AXH failed to land and placed back in the nest; her sister AXR takes the opportunity to take off for the first time!