What were they doing last night?

8 April 2010

Yesterday afternoon Dori laid her third egg so this morning I looked through the video archives for footage showing all five: the two eggs laid by the previous resident (Tasha) and Dori’s three.  I looked especially for nighttime images because the eggs show up so well under infrared light. 

What I found was a surprise.

Around 11:15pm last night, Dori was incubating the eggs when something flew by and caught her attention.  She got up and trotted to the left, out of camera range.  I could hear ee-chupping, then little eee sounds, then a distant wail.  Silence.  For more than ten minutes there were no bird sounds except one or two distant wails.  No birds on camera. 

After ten minutes Louie appeared, walked to the scrape and adjusted the eggs.  Male peregrines don’t usually incubate at night.  What was going on?

Louie spent about 5 minutes with the eggs, standing over them, peeping softly.  A peregrine wailed in the background.  Louie left the eggs and walked down the ramp where he paused to listen (pictured here, approx 11:39pm).  Then he was gone.

I wonder what happened.

We’ll never know.  The archives broke after that for the next two hours (they saved the same two seconds with a new time stamp) and when they resumed at 2:00am all was calm and Dori was incubating.

Another night in the life of peregrines.

p.s. I did find a photo of Dori with all 5 eggs.  See below.

(photos from the National Aviary webcam at Gulf Tower)

6 thoughts on “What were they doing last night?

  1. I added Hotspots on the Aviary Gulf Cam, so that people can see and hear what Kate describes. I was working on a paper when Louie left the eggs – but I was distracted and didn’t even know it was Louie. I do recall being startled by the calls, as usually late at night they are very quiet. It reminded me of when Tasha called shortly before she lost the nest to Dori. But nothing happened and they were quiet around 12:30 am…

    Perhaps it was the same Falcon Kate saw flying over the Cathedral? It’s a good sign for the species that new birds are appearing and testing/competing over nest sites. Very good sign indeed. The strongest will survive and as long as we work to preserve them, they will continue to thrive. It’s good.

  2. Is there anything we can do (read $$$) to improve the archive facility? Like buy bigger & faster disks and/or pcs.

    I can watch early before work but not during the day & rarely at night. In fact this morning I saw Louie on the nest and Dori began incubating.

  3. I thought maybe they would get rid of the old eggs…I learned from experience….when we raised geese and a muscovy duck that adopted us…that unfertile eggs will explode in the heat. Since it’s been so hot, I hope it doesn’t happen…not a good smell and a major mess everywhere….I am assuming there is no chance the original two would be able to hatch when she starts incubating….since I can’t get the webcam (streaming is too slow from our satellite dish), can you tell the difference between the new and old eggs? I really miss not being able to see what is going on…keep us posted…thanks.

  4. Well, at lest one thing is certain. There has been no shortage of action and drama at the Gulf Tower this spring.

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