June 15, 2010By Paris UpdateArchive


You may not have noticed, but Paris is teeming with wild animals, and not just the usual urban foxes, pigeons and sparrows in the parks, and rats in the sewers and Métro tunnels. The capital’s kestrels are fussier about their real estate and won’t settle for anything more recent than the 12th century for their housing: a few pairs have chosen to nest in nooks in the heights of Notre Dame Cathedral. Every year, as faithful as the birds themselves, members of Corif (Centre Ornithologique Ile-de-France) set up high-powered telescopes around the cathedral so passersby can get a close-up view of fledglings trying out their wings. The friendly bird nerds can be found under a canopy in the Square Jean XXIII behind the cathedral on June 19 and 20, and will be happy to show you the nests and explain the habits of these citified raptors.


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