Falcon pair nesting on the chimney of the Budějovice heating plant has four chicks

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2023-05-06   09:04

The falcon pair nesting on the chimney of the heating plant in Vrata has four chicks. They are also the first ringed peregrine falcon chicks in the Czech Republic from monitored nesting boxes. The falcon pair first nested in the industrial site on the outskirts of České Budějovice in 2019. Since then, they have returned there every year. The thermal power plant announced this in a press release today. The peregrine falcon is a critically endangered species. About 120 regularly breeding pairs of these raptors are monitored in the Czech Republic.

"These are two males and two females and some of the first chicks hatched in nests that we are monitoring in the Czech Republic. And the first ever ringed. They are healthy and in excellent condition," said ornithologist Václav Beran, zoologist and researcher at the Alka Wildlife Association, about the new chicks. The nesting box has been at a height of 120 metres on the chimney of the Zevo Vráto heating plant since 2017.

A falcon pair nested in the suburb of České Budějovice for the first time in 2019. This year was the fifth nesting since then, with 18 chicks born since 2019. One of the previous ones has now been monitored by ornithologists in Brno, where the male formed a nesting pair with a female from Germany.

"I have been following the Vratsa falcons since the very beginning. They are a very compact pair. The female is visibly larger than the male, which is normal. Every year the male is able to support his breeding partner, which is reflected in the hatching of the entire brood and its good condition in the following season. These are usually the first chicks in the national comparison. There are few such pairs," added the ornithologist.

According to experts, the pair always looks for a place to nest at the beginning of the year, and any chicks are ringed at the age of about 20 days and in another 25 days they are able to fly safely and slowly leave the nest box. The rest of the year they live in the wild. However, only about a third of the strongest individuals survive to adulthood and they gradually move tens of kilometres from their birthplace.

The chimney is 160 metres high. It is one of the tallest concrete structures in South Bohemia. It serves an outdated coal heating plant. The heating plant plans to use it in the future operation of a new waste-to-energy facility called Zevo.

Source: CTK
Photo: zevovrato.cz