Apr 18 2008

When will the eggs hatch?

Published by at 8:12 am under Nesting & Courtship,Peregrines

Peregrine Falcon eggsI'm sure you're beginning to wonder how much longer the peregrine falcons must incubate their eggs.  It's been going on a long time and they aren't done yet.  So when's the happy day?

Peregrine eggs hatch around 33 days after incubation begins, but I have never been good about noticing when the parent birds switch from standing over the eggs to incubating them.  (This switch occurs when two or three eggs have been laid - not after the first one.)

I do, however, keep records of first egg dates and hatch dates so I can give you a rough idea of what to expect based on past history.

At Gulf Tower, Tasha laid her first egg on March 11.  Her eggs usually hatch 39-42 days later so this year's clutch will probably hatch between April 19 and 22.  Start watching the Gulf Tower webcam this weekend for new baby birds.   News flash April 20:  Tasha2's eggs began to hatch this afternoon!

At Pitt, Dorothy laid her first egg on March 23.  Her eggs usually hatch 38-40 days later so we can expect to see her first babies between April 30 and May 2.

Of course, just as with human babies, you can never predict exactly when they will be born.

Meanwhile, what is Dorothy doing? Dorothy (peregrine falcon) takes a sunbath at University of Pittsburgh

For those of you watching the Pitt webcam yesterday afternoon you may have seen the adult female peregrine do something strange.  She fanned out and hunched over (picture at left).

Dorothy was sunbathing.  There are various theories as to why birds sunbathe ranging from eradicating parasites to straightening their feathers.  They also might do it because it feels good.  "Ahhhh", says Dorothy, "nice heat on my back."

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “When will the eggs hatch?”

  1. Michael Simmson 18 Apr 2008 at 10:40 am

    I love this blog for the breezy way it educates me about birds. Because of health problems, it is difficult for me to get out of the city and into nature. Kate St. John makes it clear that nature can be enjoyed from our office windows and our own backyards. Live brave, Kate!

  2. Kathy McCharenon 18 Apr 2008 at 12:51 pm

    I saw Dorothy yesterday and wondered if she was warming her body before getting back on her eggs which were in the shade. I’m sure looking forward to seeing the hatched chicks…

  3. Amyon 18 Apr 2008 at 1:01 pm

    I did catch Dorothy sunbathing on the webcam yesterday – since this is my first year falcon-watching, I was a little worried about her.

    Thanks for explaining!

  4. joe schultzon 20 Apr 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Not sure but I think I see white under tasha2.

  5. Rachelon 27 Apr 2008 at 6:10 pm

    Yesterday I watched a pair of titmice take sunbaths off and on for most of the day. After seeing the picture of Dorothy now I know that this common bird behavior that I just hadn’t been lucky enough to see before!

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