And at the cathedral: what's happening there?
The 2020 nesting failed at the cathedral. The two chicks died when they were 7 and 10 days old, respectively. What was this sad end caused by? The most likely explanation is the couple's inexperience; it was their very first nest.
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!
A new camera in Uccle to wach live fledging at Saint-Job church
A new camera was connected this morning to film and broadcast, live and in close-up, the juvenile falcons on the edge of the nest located in the middle of the clock face that adorns the bell tower of Saint Job church of Uccle. The little falcons now spend most of their time there. They scan the sky and discover the neighborhood, including the file in front of the bakery!
The latest news from the Peregrine couples in Brussels
Mid-May, the Peregrine Falcons' nesting season is in full swing. This spring, surveys and other follow-ups were somehow hampered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The information below is therefore not as complete as in previous years.
A 2019 falcon from Uccle in pair in Laeken
The previous blog presented the ringing video of Uccle in 2019, as we were unable to film the 2020 operation. Take a close look at these images: the filmed falcon is marked with a metal identification ring from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences on the right leg, and a white ring engraved with a code composed of 2 characters separated by a white line on the left leg. This second ring allows identification from a distance, by telescope or on photo. It is therefore not necessary to recapture the falcon for identification; nor should you wait until he is found somewhere dead before getting information of him. The code of the ring is K /3.
Ringing at Uccle, small male, large females
Uccle's juvenile falcons were ringed this weekend. The family has 2 females and 1 male.
No falcon chicks in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre
The start of the continuous observations at the Woluwe-Saint-Pierre town hall dates from April 2. For reasons related to the COVID-19 setting dedicated by the safety council, it was not possible to start recording earlier.
News of the cathedral
In order to observe the behavior of the Peregrines after the chicks died, we decided to not turn off the 3 cameras filming the cathedral’s balcony and gargoyles. Here we describe what happened since April 29, illustrated with 5 videos.
An exceptional female
Comparisons are odious. Read the story of an exceptional female Peregrine that nested at the Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula from 2006 to 2018.
The second falcon of the cathedral did not survive
Observations from yesterday indicated that the female Peregrine of the cathedral was feeding her chick increasingly better and more frequent. The father continued to feed him assiduously. The chick had a full stomach and crop last night.
News of other Peregrine pairs living in Brussels
In spring 2019, 14 pairs of Pilgrims were identified in Brussels, i.e. 161 km². Some didn’t nest, but defended a territory, some missed the nesting season, others we might not have seen, but, a density as such is quite exceptional for a city and therefore we can call Brussels "the city of Peregrines"!
One of the two chicks didn't survive
The fact that the male and female Peregrine in the cathedral are nesting for the first time this spring, and therefore are inexperienced, was mentioned in the previous blog. The female, in particular, feeds her chicks little compared to what would normally be. Of course, we all still remember the exceptional female that nested in the cathedral between 2006 and 2018 raising a total of 43 chicks. The comparison is therefore striking.
A European Goldfinch on the cathedral's falcon menu.
The Peregrine family of the cathedral has two falcon chicks. The other two eggs (including the particularly pale one) did not hatch. There is nothing abnormal about this result, especially with a young couple that is nesting for the first time. The two birds do not yet know each other well enough and are completely inexperienced with nesting.
The Peregrines of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre
The first "certified" sighting of a Peregrine Falcon on the tower of the Woluwe-Saint-Pierre town hall dates from December 18, 2011. And it is not just a sighting because the Peregrine is ringed! Deciphering the code shows he was born in the Saints Michael and Gudula Cathedral of Brussels, in the spring of 2010. The observation of this male will be without a future. At least in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre. Because this Peregrine is then observed at the Saint Hubert Church in Watermael-Boitsfort, another municipality of Brussels. There he nests successfully in 2012 and 2013. And then, incredible but true, this male leaves his nesting site to settle in Grimbergen, just north of Brussels, 16 km away. His female stays nesting at Watermael-Boitsfort. An exceptional case of divorce!
April 19th, at the Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula!
Here are the images that show in detail the hatching of the first falcons 2020 at the Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula in the center of Brussels.
First cheeps at the Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula !
8:48 this morning, the new female Peregrine of the cathedral is sitting restlessly on her eggs. She seems nervous. And then she raises herself up slightly. You can see a slightly lighter area on the large end of one of her four eggs. Is this a sign that the egg cracks, that soon a first chick will hatch? Not sure, the sighting was far too furtive.
4 in Uccle !
The family Peregrine Falcons living in the bell tower of Saint Job Church of Uccle has four chicks now! All the eggs therefore successfully hatched. There will be 36 hours between the appearance of the first and the last chick. This classic delay can be explained by the fact that Peregrines start incubating the eggs as soon as the penultimate egg is laid.
Three chicks have hatched at the Saint Job Church in Uccle
A first Peregrine Falcon of the 2020 generation hatched in the early evening of Monday, 13 April, at the Saint Job Church of Uccle. This Tuesday 14th must have been exciting, and it was! Here is the film.
The eggs of the Saint Job Church in Uccle are hatching!
The first cheeps were heard around 3:30 p.m. this Sunday, April 13 in Uccle. But not just ‘cheeps’, Peregrine Falcon cheeps! At 16:05, the female raises herself up slightly. She turns her 4 eggs. The cheeping is intense. Listen carefully while watching the first video in the appendix! We observe a crack in the eggshell! The crack is clearly visible, as always on the side of the large end of the egg. Hatching will be soon!
The Peregrines of the Saint Job church of Uccle
In 2015 a pair of Peregrine Falcons nested for the first time in Uccle, one of the 19 municipalities of Brussels.
Top start for a new observation season
Here is the start of a fifteenth spring of Peregrine Falcon Observation in Brussels!