Ringing in Saint Gilles and Woluwe Saint Pierre

Two new broods of Peregrine falcons have been ringed in recent days.

In the belfry of the City Hall of Saint Gilles, the Peregine family consists of a female chick and two male chicks. Hatched around April 18, they weighed 3 weeks later 681 g and 708 g for the male chicks and 1024 g for the female. Two unhatched eggs were abandoned in a corner of the nest.

This is not the first time that the parents of these three young falcons have nested in Saint Gilles. The female is ringed, which allows us to know her origin: a natural cliff in the magnificent Semois valley. It was spring 2015, so she is now 9 years old. She arrived in Saint Gilles in the spring of 2017 and has nested there every year since. However, it was only the second year that the current male, also ringed, nested in Saint Gilles. He comes from the bell tower of the Saint Job church in Uccle, 2020. He was already spotted in Saint Gilles in spring 2021, when another male was nesting on the building. The latter has most likely died in the meantime since nesting Peregrines are extremely faithful to their nesting site. Divorces are exceptional. Only one has been recorded in 20 years of observation in Brussels.

The other brood ringed this week in Brussels is also made up of 3 falcon chicks and is also housed in a City Hall, that of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre. But here, there are three young males who weigh 644 g, 665 g and 679 g. They have therefore already reached their adult weight when they are only three weeks old. Their father was born in April 2012 at the Saint Antoine church in Etterbeek, so he is 12 years old. He was first observed in October 2013 in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre. And has been nesting there continuously since 2014. The current female, however, arrived last spring. She hatched in 2021 in Oberhausen-Holten, not far from Düsseldorf in Germany. A little more than 180 km separate the two localities.

A third brood was observed last week, but the 4 Peregine chicks were not ringed because they were too old to carry out the ringing process safely. This is the family brooding at the top of the RTBF-VRT communication tower in Schaerbeek.

Here is the intermediate summary of the Peregrine broods in Brussels this spring:

Cathedral of Saint Michael and Gudule: failure

Uccle, Saint Job church: 2 male juvenile falcons

ULB, Solbosch campus: 4 male juvenile falcons

Etterbeek, Saint Antoine church: 4 juvenile female falcons

Saint Gilles, city hall: 1 female juvenile falcon and 2 male juvenile falcons

Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, city hall: 3 male juvenile falcons

Schaerbeek, RTBF-VRT communication tower: 4 juvenile falcons

This totals 20 young falcons including 11 males and 5 females + 4 falcons whose sex could not be determined since they were not ringed.

Other broods will be visited and perhaps ringed next week. See next blog!