Peregrine falcons nest at head office in Gustav Mahlerlaan

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A young peregrine falcon

There are four chicks in the peregrine falcons’ nest high up on the head office building in Gustav Mahlerlaan. The young birds were ringed, weighed, admired and replaced on Tuesday, 14 May.

This is the first time since the nesting box was installed that a pair of peregrine falcons have nested there and hatched eggs. It is now over three weeks since the four female chicks hatched out. "A nest as big as this is quite unusual", says urban ecologist Martin Melchers, who advocated the installation of a nesting box on the Gustav Mahlerlaan building. "That makes it the most successful nest in Amsterdam and the surrounding area."

In good health

During the ringing process, the chicks were weighted and measured. "They are all a healthy weight", recounts Jos Blakenburg, a certified bird ringer from the bird migration station in Arnhem. Each chick is fitted with two rings around its leg. "We use an orange ring for birds in the Netherlands", says Jos. “The silver ring bears a serial number. If the bird is ever caught or found, the rings can be used to discover where it came from.”

Martin carefully notes down all the data on the four chicks, all of which are females. It’s a successful nest, after years with no chicks. “The gravel in the nesting box was no good”, says Martin. “It was too coarse. We replaced it last year, and this breeding season we’ve struck lucky!”

AT5 report

The local Amsterdam broadcaster AT5 was there to record the ringing process. The item can be found on the AT5 website.

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