I am starting to be used to roam the streets of big capitals looking up for anything wild between buildings and urban parks. But as usual, the difficulties in shooting urban wildlife is to get the authorizations first. After several weeks of emails, phone calls, we finally got the permission to photograph in the Vatican’s garden.
But with the scheduled exhibition right ahead and the short delay I could only shoot for 2 days and in fact, 2 mornings, as the garden is closed the afternoons.
The garden is around 24 hectares and very tidy. We can’t really call it a « Wild » place. But nevertheless, I could count 22 species of birds in or flying over the park. Within those species, the Blue Rock Trush (Monticola solitarius), the peregrine falcon and the Monk parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus). Originally from South America, this colorful bird is very easy to spot with its high pitch sound and its massive nest.
Most of the interesting wildlife is in the northern part of the garden. An unreachable stip tiny patch of uncut long grass and wild flowers is hosting the first insects of the season , the green woodpecker comes regularly to try its luck in the woody area. The Vatican’s garden is a perfect exemple that if you leave a part of your backyard’s mower-free-zone, you’ll see a much richer biodiversity than on your tidy lawn.
From the garden I had a good view of the famous St Peter’s Basilica where at least two couples of kestrels had done their nests. I even saw a pair mating on the holy place! Surely, it is not on Notre Dame de Paris that I would’ve witnessed that kind of behaviour! Haaaa, Italians’ Amore…
Laurent Geslin / Wild Wonders of Europe
Please note that blogs reflect our photographers' opinions and not necessarily those of the directors of Wild Wonders of Europe.