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First falcon babies of the season born in Brussels towers

17:42 20/04/2020

Baby peregrine falcons have been popping out of eggs in Brussels over the last week, in the clock towers watched by scientists and residents with great anticipation every year. The first chicks were born last week, a bit earlier than experts had estimated.

The first babies hatched in the tower of Saint-Job church in Uccle. But as of today, they are not alone: The brooding pair in the St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral also said hello to two falcon chicks this morning. There are two more eggs, which may hatch as the hours – or days – wear on, or they may not hatch at all.

There were four eggs in Uccle as well, all of which hatched. A livestream of both the falcon families can be followed on the Falcons for Everyone website. The fuzzy, peeping chicks in Uccle (pictured) are particularly cute at the moment. The Uccle falcon couple have been brooding in the same spot in the tower for five years.

Observation post closed

Over in St Michael, the falcon couple are new. The same couple had been brooding there for 17 years, but the female was found injured on the ground last year. She healed at a wildlife rescue centre in Anderlecht, but alas cannot be released and is now at home there.

A third falcon pair in a tower in Brussels can be viewed on Falcons for Everyone: For the seventh year in a row, the pair have returned to raise their young in the clock tower of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre’s town hall. The female is sitting on eggs here, too, but so far no chicks have emerged.

Falcons for Everyone also contains a wealth of information, in English, French and Dutch, about the three sites and the falcon pairs who have inhabited them. Normally Brussels maintains an observation post where people can see the cathedral falcons live through binoculars, but it is closed due to the coronavirus crisis.

Written by Lisa Bradshaw

Comments

Frank Lee

I once heard a big noise in my backyard. It was a falcon that had just slammed a pigeon down and killed it. It rested for a minute or two then flew away with its prey. Amazing. I love falcons. Pigeons, not so much...

Apr 20, 2020 19:23