The four chicks from Woluwe-Saint-Pierre have been ringed

The Woluwe-Saint-Pierre clutch of Peregrine Falcons was ringed this morning. The total number of raised-ringed falcons on the tower of the city hall therefore stands at 19 since the couple arrived in 2014.

Ringing is a well-known procedure that was described in the blog of May 8 (link to: The film about the ringing of the falcon chicks in Uccle. - Falcons for everyone 2022). As a reminder, the falcons are first marked with a metal ring engraved with a unique code and the address of the scientific institution of reference, in this case, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. This ring is in fact comparable to the license plate of a vehicle. It is an official mark that will allow the bird, on which the ring has been positioned, to be identified at any time. This identification will make it possible to follow the movements of the bird but also to have information on its demography and in particular on its longevity.

When one seeks to study a particular aspect of the ecology of a species or a population, and this is the case of the Peregrine Falcon monitoring program in Belgium, a second ring can also be placed. This one will be coloured and engraved with the most visible code possible. Why? To identify the bird through a telescope or on a photo. This increases the chances of individual observations and therefore the number of data and therefore our knowledge. But, as the code is engraved in large letters, it is short and the number of combinations is therefore limited since the ring adapted to a Peregrine Falcon measures 11 mm in diameter and 10 mm in height. This type of ring is therefore only used in a very structured way. But what are the results recorded among the falcons of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre? Here is the current state of knowledge:

None of the 2 falcons from 2014 have been re-observed or found so far.

Incredible, data for each of the 3 falcons from 2015 have been recorded! The female H166330 settled on the church of Christ-King in Hoboken, south of Antwerp. She nested there in 2017 and 2018 but was found dead on 07/11/2019, probably following a territorial fight with another female Peregrine! His sister, H166331 also settled on this church in Hoboken. She was first observed there on a visit in April 2019 and then nested there in the spring of 2021. Photo 1, taken by Maarten Mortier, who diligently observes, follows and photographs the Antwerp Peregrines, shows this falcon in flight above the breeding site. H166332, the third sister of the 2015 litter has settled on the church of Diegem where she tried to nest this spring 2022.

None of the 3 falcons from 2016 have been re-observed or found so far.

Nesting failed in 2017, so no falcons were banded.

Three falcons fledged in 2018 and one of them, a male, was observed in the spring of 2021 on the Saint Antoine de Padua church in Forest (photo 2), one of the 19 municipalities of Brussels. He was paired with a still immature female and ultimately did not nest. He was found mortally wounded, along the Gare du Midi, on 10/25/2021.

Among the 2 falcons of 2019, a female was found on 20/11/2021. She was dead, stuck in a well at the top of one of the domes of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Koekelberg, another of the 19 municipalities of Brussels.

Nesting failed in 2020, so no falcons have been ringed while the 2021 falcons have not (yet) been heard from.

This is the state of knowledge regarding the falcons of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre. Each data counts, each data advances knowledge and everyone can contribute by informing the discovery of a ringed bird on our portal =>

Link to:  BEBIRDS (naturalsciences.be)

So, if you find a ringed bird, please help us by sharing the information!

The Peregrine 2022 family from Woluwe-Saint-Pierre counts 4 males. What will become of them, will we hear from them, sooner or later? To be continued!

The complete film of the ringing of these 4 falcons will be added to this blog very soon. Here are some pictures already and a video.



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