4 falcon chicks at Uccle!
4 eggs laid at the beginning of March and 4 falcons hatched on April 13 in Uccle. 100% success therefore at the level of fertilization and hatching for the couple of Peregrines settled in the bell tower of the Saint Job church in Uccle.
The first chick hatched around 5 a.m. on April 13. It had been nearly 48 hours since we heard him chirping in the egg. Two more chicks appeared soon after. The fourth came out of its shell in the early afternoon. The first video in the appendix shows the empty shells, on the one hand a "lid" which comes from the large end which has literally been decapsulated from the main part which we can clearly see on the other hand. Peregrine parents never help their chicks hatch. Their only intervention is to evacuate the shells from the nest. To avoid attracting the attention of potential predators? Perhaps.
Hatching is methodical and long-term work, which requires a lot of energy from the chicks. They come out of the egg all wet. You can see it clearly in the attached photos.
The chicks are so exhausted by hatching that they remain motionless for several hours while their mother broods them intensely so that they dry out as quickly as possible and above all do not get cold!
Video 1 shows the first feeding of the chicks at 1:44 p.m. The father falcon, after announcing himself by shouting, arrives at the entrance of the nest and immediately transmits a prey, probably a thrush, to its female. He took care of plucking it for the most part and cutting off her head. The mother falcon can therefore, easily and without wasting time, give the first bites to her falcons.
The weather is mild in Brussels today, so the female can leave her chicks alone for a few minutes to evacuate the prey (video 2) and, probably, to stretch her wings a little. But their absence is very brief. An egg has yet to hatch. So, it's about staying warm. The mother therefore quickly returns to her chicks and covers them carefully by ruffling her plumage (video 3)
New outing at 4:15 p.m., also fast and the female returns to her 4 chicks (video 4).
As an ornithologist would remember, it is the eighth spring that Peregrine falcons have been born in Uccle!