Moving to the city
How nature adapts to us humans without us noticing it immediately.
"Wush!" exclaims my friend Frank, raising his cupped hand and nearly knocking over the glass on the table. We are sitting in the backyard of my house in Leiden, The Netherlands. Frank is showing me what it looks like when a peregrine falcon darts up outside his study window. This happens once or twice a day, and the bird of prey usually holds a freshly killed pigeon in its claws and heads for its nest, which is located under a huge illuminated logo on the roof of the house. A few seconds after such a flyby, a few plucked feathers float down.
The peregrine falcon is one of the many bird species that have recently adapted to life in the city. In natural conditions, they hunt medium-sized birds around rocky cliffs. But since man has erected artificial landscapes of churches, chimneys, office buildings and other buildings almost everywhere, the birds are only too happy to swap steep embankments for facades and kill pigeons instead of jays. In some regions of Europe and North America, the majority of peregrine falcons already nest in cities …