the pilgrims of the cathedral reunited

This Monday, May 2, 2022, a female peregrine falcon was released in the center of Limoges, after a few days spent at the wildlife center in Vernay-sur-Vienne. This is a female of the iconic couple, which has been nesting in the cathedral for several years.

This Tuesday, May 2, 2022, a pair of peregrine falcons from Limoges Cathedral were able to reunite.

Last Friday, the female of this symbolic couple, who had been nesting in the bell tower of Saint-Etienne Cathedral for several years, was found wounded in the bishop’s garden by a walker who immediately took her to the SOS Faune Sauvage in Vernay-sur-Vienna. When the man found her, she was on the ground, really very tense, she had hyperventilation and did not react at all, she allowed herself to grab without problems, explains Oriana Dufran, SOS Faune Sauvage volunteer.

Very quickly, wildlife experts and a veterinarian who cared for the bird diagnosed: “She had typical signs of an attack, probably by crows, she had no feathers on her back and several wounds, but very superficial.” Says Oriana Dufresne.

The raptor then spent two days recovering, quietly, in an aviary in the care center before these coaches felt she could be released at her place of life. And according to Oriana, the beauty immediately focused: “She went very well, the flight was perfect, she went around the cathedral well to return to the tower.”

And this is very good, because the couple is now raising manure. Last Sunday, ornithologists from the Limousin Bird Protection League watched the teenager.

Peregrine falcon is a rock species that nests on rocks, in this case on rocks. In the absence of a suitable natural place, he can choose quarries or large buildings that will allow him to clearly see his potential prey, in fact, other birds.

The destruction of the falcon’s natural habitat has led to a sharp reduction in its numbers.

In Limousin, thanks to the persistent work of Limousin LPO, the peregrine falcon population has increased over the years. The association has indeed organized several actions to protect the species, a time that has become extremely rare in our area.

This pair, which nests in the cathedral, also benefited from this work.

Peregrine falcons have been observed at Limoges Cathedral for decades. In 2015, we contacted B√Ętiments de France to find out how we can install a nest box. Because until then we had never seen chicks.

Frank Taburi, researcher at LPO Limousen

Two years later, the birds took root well and the first observations of the chicks took place. Every year the Bird Protection League monitors the facility.

The absence of a female in the cathedral for two days can be detrimental to her newly hatched chicks. “The male hunts birds, returns the prey to the female, and it is she who cuts them and feeds the cubs, and it is she who guards the nest. In predators, especially falcons, the female is much larger than the male. , it protects the nest “, notes Frank Taburi.

“Sometimes a male can replace a female for a few hours or minutes, from our observations we know that males are not very comfortable, not very used, but for some couples it works. Let’s see what happens. in a few days.”

The good news is that there are more young people in the city than in the countryside, explains the ornithologist: “There is more food there, among city pigeons, jackdaws, swifts, little sparrows from the garden of the Episcopal Palace, birds from the shores of Vienna, which circulate at night. Peregrine falcons use city lights to hunt at night.

Note that this family of peregrine falcons is not visiting the care center in Vernay-sur-Vienne for the first time, in 2019 one of the young people stayed there, and a few years earlier the male was found injured. .

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