The Peregrine Falcons of Saint Job Church in Uccle

Unlike the Peregrine pair from the cathedral of Saints Michel and Gudule, who arrived on the building several years ago, the Peregrines who are nesting this spring in Uccle are newcomers! And their origin is still unknown! It will remain so for the female who is not ringed. The male is ringed, but the code of his ring could not yet have been deciphered.

The "historic" Peregrine pair who nested in Uccle since the beginning in 2015 has therefore been replaced! These falcons are most likely dead because Peregrines are very attached to their nesting site, they usually come back to nest there year after year.

The bird flu virus is of prime suspect. Since mid-January, there has been a slaughter among the Peregrine Falcons in Belgium. There are more than fifty Peregrines dead! Will this have an impact on the population as a whole? It's possible, we fear. In any case, this is an aspect that will be studied in detail this spring, via the observation of nesting success throughout Belgium and via virological samples that will be taken within the framework of a scientific collaboration with the reference laboratory of Sciensano.

Still, the new Peregrine pair of Saint Job have been incubating 4 eggs since mid-March. Hatching is expected around April 17, after an uninterrupted incubation of 32 days. Male and female take turns on the eggs, but it is their first nesting period together. And it seems that they still have to get to know each other (better), as evidenced by the video in the appendix. The female does not seem delighted to see the male arrive in the nest!

Observing Peregrines from your living room, via HD cameras, is well, but observing in real life is even better! On the initiative of the Alderman for the Environment of Uccle, four observation sessions will be organised. Of course, there will be no question of going up to the bell tower to go and greet the family! Observations will be made from the pavement of Place Saint Job using powerful telescopes. It will be possible to observe the falcons sometimes circling high in the sky, sometimes perched at the top of the weather vane, sometimes resting on a pinnacle, in the immediate vicinity of the entrance to the nest. The observation dates are as follows: 04/16, 04/30, 05/14, 05/28. Posters in A2 format, such as the one illustrated in the appendix to this blog will be distributed.

In the meantime, if you pass by Place Sait Job, in order to allow you to observe the falcons while doing your shopping, a screen has been placed in the window of the Espace Photo store. Images of the nest are broadcast live and continuously.

Blog 10042023 photo 1. The poster for the 2023 edition.

Blog 10042023 photo 2. The four eggs of the new Peregrine Pair of Uccle.

Blog 10042023 video 1. The female does not seem to appreciate the arrival of the male in the nest!