A flying juvenile falcon in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre.
The 4 juvenile falcons in the tower of the Woluwe-Saint-Pierre city hall were hatched on 1 May. They should therefore fledge around next Sunday, June 12th.
Their plumage has developed at high speed for 10 days. They therefore begin to spend a lot of time preening their feathers, while waiting to be fed by their parents. Video 1 shows father falcon bringing a whole pigeon to his 4 juvenile falcons.
Next step for a few days: the falcons have started their bodybuilding exercises! They are indeed now almost completely feathered. So it's time to think about taking off.
At the balcony they flap their wings easily. And they don't hesitate! But there is clearly an adventurer in the family. Watch video 2. The juvenile falcons run from left to right, flap their wings; but a juvenile male, identified by the CXA ring, is perched on the edge of the balcony. He seems very interested in what happens beyond. And after some hesitation, he jumps into the void! No, fortunately, not in the void, but onto the railing that surrounds the steeple!
Video 3 shows the rest of the scene. His brothers are taken aback! The nearest keeps watching the tightrope walker! The other two are done with their workout. And then suddenly CXA slips and falls off the railing. The 3 brothers seem dumbfounded! Again, luck or rather well done, CXA falls on the inside of the railing and therefore finds himself at the foot of the nest. He is safe and sound!
The parents will continue to feed him until it has enough strength to fledge. Video 4 shows CXA walking around the steeple. A "ladder" has been placed for years on the other side of the steeple to help him, if necessary, to pass beyond the metal railing.
Such behavior is normal for young Peregrines. It is regularly observed when they nest on the cliff. A few days before knowing how to fly, the falcons set out to explore, on their feet or by hovering. This is most likely a behavior that allows them to exercise their attentiveness and muscle training while beginning to discover their direct surroundings.
To be continued !