On Tuesday 26th September, I flew from Bristol airport to Hungary to attend the 4th International Peregrine Conference. It was held at the Herman Otto Conference Centre in Budapest, and ran from the 27th until the 1st October with a daily programme of lectures from peregrine researchers and workers from across the globe. There were some truly fascinating talks on a wide variety of subjects including population monitoring, productivity, migratory movements, urban increases, tree nesting, diet and prey selection, predation and persecution, genetics and radio tracking. Presentations were 25 minutes long with some time for questions and there were eight per day. I gave an illustrated talk entitled ‘Extreme territorial aggression by urban peregrine falcons towards Common Buzzards in South-west England’, which was the only presentation on behaviour. This was a new talk and features the unique territorial aggression of the Exeter peregrines towards Buzzards flying over the city. It appeared to be well received, especially the live footage of an attack.
There were about 70 attendees in all, with about eight from the UK, and it was a joy to catch up with old friends and make new ones. The venue was superb, as was the food during the conference. In the evenings, there were various events in the city centre, which involved seeing the cultural sights, and sampling Hungarian food and drink. We even got to see an adult female peregrine which was over-wintering on the Cathedral in the centre of Budapest.