Back in force, the peregrine falcon puts on a show between the steeples

It has once again become the master of the sky in our cities, the peregrine falcon is once again present in our homes. Today, an estimated 120 pairs are nesting in Belgium. However, the species had completely disappeared by the end of the 1960s.

Even if the bird has become common again, it still fascinates as much. This Saturday morning, at the foot of the cathedral of Tournai, amateur ornithologists had taken out their telescopes and binoculars to observe the couple who have established their quarters there. “Two weeks ago, four young people were bandedexplains Jean-Jacques, volunteer at Natagora. And here they begin to attempt to fly away. A lot of bodybuilding on the wings. This is the right time to observe them. “

The threat of the raccoon

The four youngsters will further swell the ranks of the species. A population that has continued to grow since its return in 1994, after the ban in Europe of a particularly toxic pesticide. Man has also encouraged this return, by placing nesting boxes at the top of steeples. “My conclusion is that when you do something for nature, it works”smiles Didier Vangeluwe, ornithologist at the Royal Institute of Natural Sciences.

However, the number of peregrine falcons risks stagnating one day. And it will be normal. “We will arrive at a plateau pbecause they are great predators and very territorial birds that fight among themselves”completes Didier Vangeluwe who is also worried about another threat.

“The falcon is now threatened by the raccoon in the south of Wallonia. This animal from captivity is doing a lot of harm to bird populations. This year, we have thus observed the virtual destruction of broods of falcons in the Semois valley.”

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