Brussels: the city of the Peregrine 2023


In Brussels, it is not the arrival of swallows that indicates the returning of spring, but the fact that Peregrine Falcons are beginning to breed on the tallest building in the city.

And this spring of 2023 has well and truly begun: 12, perhaps more, couples of falcons are currently breeding all over the capital. As we go about our business, male and female Peregrines discreetly take turns on their eggs. Incubation - or brooding - lasts 32 days before the hatching of small falcon chicks covered in immaculate white down. Six weeks later, it's already time to fledge! The juvenile falcons will throw themselves into the void, several tens of meters high, in order to join their parents in the sky of Brussels. In the meantime, the chicks will have grown enormously: they will have gone from 35 g to 1 kg (in the case of female Peregrines)!

This spring, we are once again offering you the opportunity to observe, together, thanks to HD cameras installed very close to the nests, the detail, the intimacy, the natural history of the breeding season of these extraordinary birds!

Why extraordinary? Because the Peregrine Falcon is the fastest animal in the world! They are capable of pursuing prey in a stoop (high speed dive) at almost 400 km/h (242 mph)! Faster than a Formula 1! And obviously, Peregrines are not satisfied with this dizzying speed, they adapt the trajectory of their flight to that of their prey in order to -in an incredible maneuver- seize it.

But the story of the Peregrine Falcon isn’t limited to these unique aerial abilities; Peregrines are real miracles. The poisoning of food chains by the powerful pesticide DDT, which was developed for agriculture, almost exterminated the Peregrine Falcon populations of Europe and North America during the second half of the 20th century. In Belgium, no more falcons hatched between the end of the sixties and 1996. A European Directive devoted entirely to the conservation of wild birds, the energies of tens, hundreds, thousands of ornithologists, naturalists, lawyers, police officers, nature conservationists have reversed the trend and… the Peregrine has returned!

They were so well received that they even settled in town and particularly in Brussels. To the point that we can really say that Brussels has become...

the City of Peregrine Falcons!

The cameras will be reconnected to the site on Friday 7 April at noon. Just a little more patience!

Welcome to the website of the Peregrine Falcons of Brussels!

Didier Vangeluwe

Go to the video album

Map of the breeding sites of the peregrine falcons in Brussels