They did it!

At the Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula, the Peregrine Falcons, over the years, have become an integral part of the heritage. They are sought after and admired by visitors but above all pampered by the collaborators and clergymen of the cathedral. Pampered and, sometimes also a little vilified when heaps of feathers block a gutter or when a very bloody carcass tumbles down on the forecourt, just at the entrance of the building ... Two sides to every coin!

And so, logically, everyone was a little saddened not to be able to observe falcon chicks this spring at the cathedral. Furthermore, the couple is there, we wrote about it several times (link to while the videos in the appendix illustrate this.

Caramba, this Tuesday, one of the collaborators of the cathedral heard a familiar noise.  A scream at the top of the North Tower. A powerful and shrill cry. A call that begs. He looks up and… no doubt, they did it! The peregrine pair have successfully brood at the cathedral this spring. A young peregrine, barely out of his nest, balances on a stone ornament. It flaps its wings, exercises its muscles, smooths its plumage, and gazes up at the sky in anticipation of a next meal. The videos in the appendix illustrate these last two behaviors.

Long observation sessions in May were not enough to find the nest. So, they were not long, but too short! The peregrine pair who had been observed for the first time at the cathedral in the spring of 2019 (she was born near Cologne in 2016, he in Anderlecht in 2017) and who, last spring, lost their two falcons aged one week, hence, this year succeeded. The exact location of the nest is not known. But it must be located on the North Tower. The exact number of falcons is also not determined, but several visits since Tuesday's discovery have failed to locate more than one falcon.

Still, after two springs without fledging at the cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula, a young Peregrine did indeed soar into the sky from the center of Brussels this spring. And that is very happy news!

And since we are almost at the end of this 2021 episode, a huge thank you to the collaborators and ecclesiastics, past and present, of the cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula who have been welcoming Peregrine Falcons and ... the ornithologists who observe them for 17 years and film them!


Video 1. Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula, the male Peregrine returns with a swift in his talons. He knows he has a chick to feed. We don't!

Video 2. Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula, the male Peregrine, always he, looks out from his favorite gargoyle. But above all, he keeps his feathers and talons in good condition!

Video 3. The young peregrine from the cathedral soothes his plumage, we can still distinguish small down which collide with the feathers of the back (DV video).

Video 4. The young falcon of the cathedral scans the sky; parent in sight? (DV video).