Illustration of a Peregrine Falcon. Image from page 199 of the book "The royal natural history" (1893)

The falcons of Diagonal Avenue in Barcelona and steaks with wings

“Barcelona is currently a city with 150 wild animal species, while the Massif of Montnegre has 148,” Dr Martí Boada explains. Paradoxes of the bioindications of biodiversity.

A climber wants to poach a peregrine falcon nest. Canyoning, the human activity that reaches places that had never before been violated, contributed to the disappearance of the last pair of falcons from the cliffs of Montseny. It was in 1983, and with the “paradoxes of the bioindications of biodiversity, the pair of falcons ended up on the corner of Diagonal with Balmes, on the 22nd storey of the Banc de Sabadell building”, as recounted slyly by Dr Martí Boada, the great Catalan naturalist who earned a place on the United Nations Global 500 Roll of Honour.

So it turns out that the urban system unwittingly offers a series of comfortable elements that a pair of falcons can and do value: the peace and quiet of the 22nd storey from their ledge “where no one bothers them”, the limitation of the major temperature fluctuations which are caused by the “heat island” effect of the city, and having their meals served on a tray. Dr Boada summarises it in a very graphic way: the city offers “a kind of winged steaks, such as pigeons, some of which are so large they can barely fly”. That is, first thing in the morning, our pair of falcons has already gotten the protein they need without even getting out of bed, as they say. In contrast, on the cold cliffs of Montseny, hunting a wood pigeon or a jay meant a much more animal energy expenditure.

Montseny mountain is yet another service, the way La Maternitat or the FC Barcelona stadium may be

“The landscape is dynamic, and right now Barcelona has some problems in its metabolism… such as some unloading systems at the Port which are still problematic”. However, Dr Boada, who has the sights of his research trained on Barcelona’s urban system, concedes that the progress in recent years has been “significant”, so much that we are facing another paradox: “Barcelona is currently a city with 150 wild animal species, while the Massif of Montnegre has 148”. Paradoxes.

Barcelona has a huge green ring which goes from Montseny-Montnegre mountains to Garraf. It was designed by Rubió i Tudurí in the 1930s and has become yet another part of the urban equipment: “People may not like this”, says Dr Boada, “but Montseny mountain is yet another service, the way La Maternitat or the FC Barcelona stadium may be. These peripheral landscapes are facilities, they’re services” for the inhabitants of the urban space. They may not like this.

Illustration of a Peregrine Falcon. Image from page 199 of the book "The royal natural history" (1893)

The falcons of Diagonal Avenue in Barcelona and steaks with wings

“Barcelona is currently a city with 150 wild animal species, while the Massif of Montnegre has 148,” Dr Martí Boada explains. Paradoxes of the bioindications of biodiversity.

A climber wants to poach a peregrine falcon nest. Canyoning, the human activity that reaches places that had never before been violated, contributed to the disappearance of the last pair of falcons from the cliffs of Montseny. It was in 1983, and with the “paradoxes of the bioindications of biodiversity, the pair of falcons ended up on the corner of Diagonal with Balmes, on the 22nd storey of the Banc de Sabadell building”, as recounted slyly by Dr Martí Boada, the great Catalan naturalist who earned a place on the United Nations Global 500 Roll of Honour.

So it turns out that the urban system unwittingly offers a series of comfortable elements that a pair of falcons can and do value: the peace and quiet of the 22nd storey from their ledge “where no one bothers them”, the limitation of the major temperature fluctuations which are caused by the “heat island” effect of the city, and having their meals served on a tray. Dr Boada summarises it in a very graphic way: the city offers “a kind of winged steaks, such as pigeons, some of which are so large they can barely fly”. That is, first thing in the morning, our pair of falcons has already gotten the protein they need without even getting out of bed, as they say. In contrast, on the cold cliffs of Montseny, hunting a wood pigeon or a jay meant a much more animal energy expenditure.

Montseny mountain is yet another service, the way La Maternitat or the FC Barcelona stadium may be

“The landscape is dynamic, and right now Barcelona has some problems in its metabolism… such as some unloading systems at the Port which are still problematic”. However, Dr Boada, who has the sights of his research trained on Barcelona’s urban system, concedes that the progress in recent years has been “significant”, so much that we are facing another paradox: “Barcelona is currently a city with 150 wild animal species, while the Massif of Montnegre has 148”. Paradoxes.

Barcelona has a huge green ring which goes from Montseny-Montnegre mountains to Garraf. It was designed by Rubió i Tudurí in the 1930s and has become yet another part of the urban equipment: “People may not like this”, says Dr Boada, “but Montseny mountain is yet another service, the way La Maternitat or the FC Barcelona stadium may be. These peripheral landscapes are facilities, they’re services” for the inhabitants of the urban space. They may not like this.