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Peregrine Falcons in Brussels

Peregrine Falcons in Brussels

Just 20 years ago, the first pair of Peregrine Falcons nested in Brussels for the first time in living memory. They took up residence at the very top of the north tower of the St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral.

This was extremely good news, as the combination of hunting and pesticides had virtually wiped out the species from Europe during the late 20th century. The pesticide DDT in particular affected the calcification process of their eggs, which simply broke like glass. In Belgium, Peregrines had stopped breeding by 1970.

But then DDT was banned, and birds of prey were protected thanks to European laws. In 1994 a pair of Peregrines nested in the Meuse valley. Ten years later, in 2004, a pair settled in the heart of Brussels. It was soon followed by a second and a third pair. 20 years later, at least 12 pairs of Peregrines are nesting in Brussels!

Where are the Peregrines nesting in Brussels?

The website to visit to find more information is Falcons for Everyone. It has the below map that shows the nesting sites. On the website you can click each icon to find the exact location. As you can see, the Peregrines are well and truly distributed throughout the city.

Peregrine Falcons in Brussels
Location of Peregrine nests, 2024

Where to watch them?

You can watch excellent high-quality 24/24 livestreams from three of the nests. Below are screenshots I took yesterday from the livestreams. To go directly to the webcam, click on the links:

  1. Watch the Peregrines at St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral
Peregrine Falcons in Brussels

2. Watch the Peregrines at St Job Church, Uccle

Watching peregrines in Uccle

3. Watch the Peregrines at ULB Solbosch

Young peregrines at ULB Solbosch

I have to say the quality of these streams is excellent. To get these close-up views of such magnificent birds is amazing.

Alternatively, if you want to see the birds actually flying about, you can take advantage of special observation sessions that have been organized. You’ll be able to see the breeding falcons through powerful telescopes that will even allow you to take high-resolution pictures yourself by attaching your camera or smartphone to the telescope. These take place at Place Saint Job, Uccle on Sunday 12 May and 26 May from 16:30 till 18:30. (You are advised to check the Falcons for Everyone website for any changes).

4 thoughts on “Peregrine Falcons in Brussels”

  1. This is great, to have a map and all those cameras. I know of one camera on Salisbury Cathedral here, which was on the news the other week – there may be others. We have kittiwake cam here in Newcastle.

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