The presence of peregrine falcons in the center of the town of Chicutimi, in Saguenay, more precisely near the cathedral, arouses the interest of the residents of the sector and worried some of them, who contacted the Ministry of Wildlife.
You should be careful, but don’t worry. It was on the roof of the Chikutimi cathedral that a cohort of peregrine falcons settled for about three weeks.
“We hear piercing screams. I saw fewer pigeons, now I look and see three falcons on the roof of the cathedral,” said Roger Gagnon, a resident of the area.
The latter then warned his friend Zhil Potvin. With the help of his drone, they were able to get a closer look.
“A falcon stands on the bell tower of the cathedral and grabs lunch. We left the drone alone, we fixed it on the spire and it produced the result we have, it was fantastic,” he recalled.
The warden of the Shikutimi cathedral, Maud Theriault, was unaware of their presence until TVA Nouvelles alerted her on Thursday morning.
“You called me this morning and when I got the pictures, it was even more so,” she said.
And, according to her, falcons already found shelter on the roof of the cathedral several years ago.
“They sat on the edge of the spire, and then attacked the prey, did what they were supposed to do. They stayed for a while and then left on their own,” Ms Thero said.
A species that needs to be protected
Beware of those who dare to hunt the peregrine falcon as it is a vulnerable species that needs to be protected.
“This is a protected species, so we don’t have the right to hunt it, trap it. Its nests also need to be protected.
They also have a special vulnerable species designation in Quebec,” explained Vanessa L. Beauregard, a biologist with the Quebec Union for the Rehabilitation of Birds of Prey (UQROP).
The species was also endangered by the 2000s.
“They had a huge decline because of DDT, which was a pesticide that attacked the eggshell, which became soft.
Fortunately, scientists sounded the alarm.
At the time, it was recognized as vulnerable, and there was a recovery plan for the species,” she continued.
Since then, this species is doing much better, and it is not uncommon to see it in cities.
“Skyscrapers, cathedrals, they kind of mimic what a peregrine falcon is looking for in nature,” Ms. Beauregard said. However, its presence raises questions among some citizens, who have turned to the Ministry of Natural Resources with concern.
“We don’t have to worry. The peregrine falcon likes to feast on other birds. If you do not let the parrot outside, it can be dangerous. Otherwise, it really is an air fighter. During the dive, it can develop 300 km/h. They will eat pigeons, which can sometimes be harmful in too large quantities, so it is good to have a peregrine falcon for that,” reassured the UQROP biologist.
“This may help us see the destruction of some pigeons. I called the Ministry of Wildlife to find out what I should do and was directed to MAPAQ,” the churchwarden added.
A MAPAQ technician should arrive and assess the situation within the next few days. The Department of Wildlife is due to provide more details in the near future.