Peregrine falcons seek sanctuary at NDG church
Published Thursday, May 24, 2018 2:48PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, May 24, 2018 7:34PM EDT
Construction on the Turcot Interchange has forced a pair of prominent peregrine falcons to find a new home.
Polly and Algo had previously nested on a perch at the interchange for several years but apparently grew tired of the traffic, noise, and construction.
Their new digs are a bit more family friendly: the two falcons now call River’s Edge Church facing NDG Park their home.
The falcons are well-known to Montreal’s community of birdwatchers. Polly and Algo were born in 2009 at the Université de Montréal and their mother, Spirit, gave birth to much of the city’s peregrine falcon population.
Christian Fritschi, a birdwatcher of 10 years, has observed Polly and Algo for years and knows their habits well.
"Their stable food is pigeons," he said. "But they’ll hunt the occasional cardinal, blue jay, or starling."
But Polly and Algo are far from the only falcons in Montreal.
"Right now, we’re able to see a pair at the Champlain Bridge, at the Mercier Bridge, at the Montreal Stock Exchange, the des Carrieres incinerators, Saint Mark’s Church, Saint Jean Baptiste Church, and now this church," Fritschi said.
Fritschi said that the recent construction around Montreal may have been preventing the peregrine falcons from having babies.
"You have no idea what a hellhole the Turcot was the past three years...this is an ideal place for a pair of peregrine falcons," he said.
He’s hoping that in their new, quieter home, Polly and Algo will expand their family.
In 2016 they gave birth to three youngsters, and Fritschi said he’s got a feeling that more are on the way soon.
"We’ve confirmed that they have a nest...right in the front of the church, facing the park," he said.
"We’re all hoping that 2018 will be the big year," he said optimistically.