Peregrines in Brussels 2016

Welcome in Brussels, the city with 12 pairs of Peregrine Falcons!

Peregrine falcons are the fastest birds in the world: they are able of swooping down on their prey at a speed of 400 km/h! Almost exterminated from Europe and North America not long ago, this splendid bird of prey started nesting again in Belgium in 1994. The first pair settled naturally on top of one of the cooling towers of the nuclear power plant of Tihange, in the Meuse valley. In 2015, the Belgian breeding population was estimated between 145-155 pairs. Some of them nested on cliffs, some on telecom towers, and others on the top of very tall buildings. An extraordinary comeback!

In the spring of 2004, a couple miraculously arrived and bred on the top of the northern tower of the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral in Brussels. Year after year, the number of Peregrines increased in the Brussels Capital Region to reach 12 pairs during spring 2015. How many will we see this spring? Some more patience is needed!

This year, great news, we invite you to observe two breeding pairs. The Peregrines of the St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral are well known. The female laid her first egg this year on February 27th; the complete clutch is 5 eggs. It is exceptional because Peregrines normally lays 3 or 4 eggs. Three times exceptional because it is the third time that this 14 year-old female lays a clutch of 4 eggs! The second pair breeds on top of the tower of the city hall of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, one of the 19 municipalities of Brussels Capital Region. Male and female Peregrine brood their 4 eggs since March 10th.

Hatching is expected around April 5th for the Peregrines at the cathedral and April 10th for those breeding in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre. In order to allow you to observe live and in detail the spectacle of the hatching, the chicks growing up, and finally the juvenile peregrines first flight, we have installed a system of cameras connected to this website. Do you want to learn more on the natural history of this fascinating predator, particularly about the adventures of the couple nesting in Brussels? Go visit the blog! Would you like to see them « in real life »? Join us at the observation post at the cathedral from March 28th until May 17th! Our ornithologists await you with a powerful telescope. You can even take pictures of the falcons with your smartphone, thanks to the ‘digiscoping’ technique!

Welcome to the website of the Brussels peregrines!

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What a season!

It was an eventful spring for the peregrine falcons in Brussels this year!

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