Season 2022: take care, your eyes!

This spring, for the 18th consecutive year, we invite you to come, with us, to observe the details of the nesting season of the Peregrine falcon pairs that are settled in Brussels.

The surveys and thus counts of the nesting pairs are still in progress, but the current number of breeding Peregrine pairs in Brussels is around 12. We did not yet find new active nest sites, but there could still be surprises!

Four of these 12 breeding pairs are under close observation. These are the couples of the cathedral of Saints Michel and Gudule, in the heart of Brussels, the church of Saint Job, in Uccle, the tower of the City hall of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre and the historic building of the campus Solbosch, from the University of Brussels (ULB).

We will therefore be able to discover together, and in detail, the lives of a quarter of the Peregrine pairs in Brussels. In fact, not quite a quarter, because the ULB couple has moved! They now nest on the bell tower of the Saint Adrian church, 650 m away to the south-east. This is unheard of! Why? Hence, we do not know. Yet the Solbosch's nest is absolutely magnificent. It is well oriented, towards the north-northeast, therefore sheltered from the prevailing winds and the rain coming from the west. It dominates the landscape, allowing the falcons to observe their hunting territory. It is also totally inaccessible for "terrestrial predators”. Ideal! In the meantime, the camera and the recording system of the Solbosch’campus is still in operation, but not connected to the internet. If the nest is visited by one falcon or the other, we will be able to find out and share the information.

The other three pairs are nesting in their “official” nest. At the cathedral, the camera that films the nest has been replaced by a latest generation model, for even more detailed observation. In Uccle, a new camera installed at the entrance to the nest will be connected when the falcons are close to fledging. This will make it possible to observe their muscular exercises on the edge of the nest, or in balance on the dial of the clock which adorns the bell tower. In Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, the camera was also replaced because the previous one was beginning to suffer the ravages of time and had the annoying tendency to break down from time to time.

The Falcon Observation Post at the Cathedral will not be reinstalled this spring. The end of the financial support of our historical private sponsor is the cause. The entire program is therefore currently financed by public partners, supplemented by promotional rates offered by specialists who allow us to carry out these observations each spring. Many thanks to all (link to the partners’ page: Partners - Falcons for everyone 2022)!

In Uccle, the incubation started on March 8, exactly like last spring! Incubation lasts 32 days, hatching should begin on April 9. A few more days of patience !

Happy observations!

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