Finally, the first hatchling in Uccle!
We expected it on Friday, but it is only today that the first falcon chick of this spring 2021 has been hatching in Brussels, more precisely at the Saint Job church in Uccle.
Is the delay related to the frost and the remarkable snowfall of the past week? Maybe, probably. Still, we all were waiting impatiently for this event to happen!
In video 1, you can see the barely hatched falcon chick: it is 8:29 am, its coat of down is still wet. The mother falcon keeps it warm under her feathers because in Brussels it was still freezing this morning. An hour later the chick is dry and starts moving a little (video 2).
During the morning, the male Peregrine will come twice to get news of his first 2021 chick but the female doesn’t let him approach. At 13:15, he returns with a first meal: a piece of passerine. The female takes it and offers her chick a first meal (video 3). The session lasts 3 minutes, the female then leaves the nest. Within a minute, the male reappears. It's amazing, but he looks overwhelmed. He even stumbles when approaching his chick! But he recovers and keeps moving forward. He seems to be limping! But no, he walks forward with his talons curled back not to risk injuring his hatchling or piercing the eggs! Such a behaviour! He then incubates the little chick and the 3 eggs which still have to hatch. Or at least he is trying to (video 4). Because much smaller than the female, who weighs around 1 kg while he barely weighs 700 g, the task is not really easy for him! He wiggles as to position his plumage to create a bubble of warmth above his precious offspring.
Next step: 3 more eggs to hatch in the clock of Saint Job's church! Then it will be the turn of the ULB family.
To be continued!