Four Out of Five!

The Gulf Tower peregrines have really surprised me.  With all the drama that occurred in late March and early April — when Tasha laid two eggs, then Dori took over the nest site and laid three more — I really expected the eggs would hatch days apart and that only Dori’s would be viable.

Instead, yesterday two more of the five eggs hatched, so that all four hatched within 48 hours. 

There are now four peregrine chicks at Gulf Tower.  

At least one of the chicks came from an egg laid by Tasha (who hasn’t been seen since March 20).  Dori will raise all of them as her own.  It’s unlikely she can tell the difference.

Here are some “baby” pictures from today and yesterday.  My thanks go to Jennie Barker, Traci Darin and Marianne Atkinson for capturing most of these images.  (I captured the feeding this morning.)

The 3rd egg hatched on Monday, May 10 around 9:00am.  In the photo above, the baby bird is raising its leg and wing out of the shell.


Above, the fourth egg shows a pip hole and the beginnings of the circumference crack.


Dori helps the fourth chick out of its shell, May 10, around 7:15pm.


This morning Dori feeds four chicks at 7:15am.


Will the fifth egg hatch?  Watch the Gulf Tower webcam to see.

p.s. Dori & Louie are TV celebrities!  They were featured on this morning’s WTAE news and in a followup article here.  Check the comments below for even more links.

(All photos from the National Aviary webcam at the Gulf Tower)

18 thoughts on “Four Out of Five!

  1. Wow! Dori is now a mom and a step-mom! Lets hope #5 hatches. What a great project and learning experience. Sweet pictures!

  2. I’m delighted that at least one of Tasha’s eggs hatched!

    Have you talked with the Aviary folks about the viability issue? Did Louie’s sitting on the eggs after Tasha left keep the eggs warm enough so that they remained viable? Or can a fertilized egg sit dormant for an extended period of time and still hatch if incubated? Will the knowledge gained here be useful in helping folks deal, e.g., with abandoned nests from other types of birds??

    I love the close-up camera at the Gulf site. And the picture of Dori feeding her chicks is precious…Can’t wait to see if the fifth egg hatches…

  3. I got to see most of this. Most thrilling thing to think that ,maybe one of Tasha’s eggs made it thru the cold & being. My question is if the eggs hatched in order of laying then its 2 of Tasha’s & 2 of Dori’s so far??? Interesting. It sure doesn’t matter to Dori or Louie tho; they have to shovel that food in to everyone. Thanks so much for all the info & input here. Looking forward to dr. Katzner’s next chat with us. He will certainly have more questions this time I’m sure.

  4. Is there any chance that Dori will know that one of the chicks (at least) is not hers? If so, will she rear it or is this uncharted territory and we just have to wait and see?

  5. This is truly amazing! You really have to give Louie credit as well for this fourth hatch – he was adamant that his first 2 eggs with Tasha were going to be incubated and it was fascinating to watch as he convinced Dori that she was going to incubate them all!

    What a wonderful tribute to Tasha!

  6. Yes, a fertilized egg CAN sit dormant for an extended period of time and still hatch if incubated. Peregrines normally make the eggs wait until incubation – they awit until the clutch is nearly complete. In this case it was just a little longer wait than usual. Freezing was the only real hazard & Louie made sure that they didn’t freeze.

    Will Dori know that one (or more) of the chicks is not hers?
    I doubt she knows and if she did it would make no difference to her. She will raise all of them as her own. Peregrines’ will foster others’ chicks. The Peregrine Recovery Project used this knowledge when they fostered chicks with peregrine adults who were unable to raise their own viable young due to DDT.

  7. I think that I just caught sight of pip hole on the remaining egg. Did anyone else see it??

  8. Dori and Louie are amazing together. Louie never gave up on Tasha’s eggs. Every time Dori pushed them out of the scrape, Louie pushed them back in. It’s so wonderful that Dori finally accepted them, even more wonderful that she is caring for Tasha’s chick(s) like her own.

  9. Response to Kathy McCharen – I just made a hotspot of what you described. Looks possible to me. What do you think, Kate?

  10. At 12:05 PM Dori is brooding but one chick is only partially under her chest. Could this be the 5th chick that she is allowing to dry a bit before pushing all the way under?

  11. It is so fantastic that at least one of Tasha’s eggs hatched! Louie did good! (Dori too)

    Dr. Todd Katzner (National Aviary/Director of Conservation and Field Research) will Guest Moderate this chat on Wednesday, May 19, from 7 to 7:30 P.M. EDT. If you have any questions, he is the expert and this is a great time to ask! We hope you will join in. Please mark your calendars!

  12. Will there be a way to see thru blood tests when they band, who the chicks belong to? Amazing how nature works….I know I had a cat who adopted any little critter including baby bunnies when she was nursing her kittens and a dog who actually nursed kittens after the mother got run over. The maternal instinct is there for most animals.

  13. And now there are FIVE ! This is so heart warming. Louie did a wonderful job at keeping those eggs alive.

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