The young Peregrine of the cathedral took its first flight!

It happened at 3:31 pm today. The young Peregrine of the cathedral took off from the balcony where it was hatched exactly 42 days ago. The attached video shows his last flutters on the balcony. So exciting!

On the 14th of April last, the frail young bird had just pierced its shell. He had his eyes closed and was covered with a light, white down. He weighed some thirty grams. Today, he weighs around 700 g (since he is a male - a female would weigh about 1 kg), his plumage is complete and he has launched into the sky! What an incredible cycle! In the time span of 6 weeks, he grew into the fastest bird in the world. Well, in that regard, he still has his work cut out for him… He will have to gain some experience! Because now the young Peregrine will have to learn how to hunt for food. His parents won’t take him under their wing and show him how! However, during this learning phase which will take several weeks - we lack accurate information on this - the parents will continue to feed the young falcon. Indeed, he won’t  die from  starvation during this period of transition. But it is he who will have to learn how to fend for himself and adopt all the necessary qualities to become a super-predator.

The two falcons of Uccle have also taken flight. They left the bell tower of Saint Job Church between Tuesday and Wednesday. If you pass this district of the south of Brussels, look to the air and listen. The family is not far away. Often, the mother Peregrine sits at the top of the steeple, on the weather vane. From there, she observes her offspring.

At Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, now all three of the hatchlings have left the terrace of their nest to jump on the balcony of the tower of the city hall. The last step before the big jump in a few hours. As explained in the previous blog, a ladder system installed on the other side of the steeple with respect to the camera, allows them to easily reach the guardrail and thus take their final flight. We know it works, since two falcons from previous years, which had also jumped on the balcony, were seen alive and well a few years later (see here and here).  A last session of observation in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre will be organized on Wednesday 30 May from 16:30 to 18:00 A unique opportunity to observe the Peregrines while they discover the beautiful valley of the Woluwe, from up in the sky.

The observation post of the cathedral will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 to 18:00. Two more beautiful afternoons of discovery before the 2018 season closes on Sunday at 18:00.

The cameras will be disconnected very soon since there won’t be any young falcons left to observe. How we would love to follow them when they fly!

There are still some blog posts in preparation, to tell you about the latest news from the families of Watermael-Boitsfort (St. Hubert Church), Etterbeek (St. Anthony Church) and Schaerbeek (City Hall) – among other things.

It is not over yet!