Hatch Watch At The Gulf Tower

Dori and five chicks, 23 April 2014 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)
Dori and five chicks, 23 April 2014 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)

The National Aviary has zoomed the Gulf Tower falconcam because this weekend — or early next week — the peregrine eggs at the Gulf Tower will start to hatch.  It’s time for Hatch Watch!

Peregrine falcons delay the start of incubation until the female has laid her next-to-last egg, then incubation lasts about 32 days plus or minus a day or two.  In this way, nearly all the eggs hatch within 24 hours.  (The last egg hatches a day or two later.)  The trick for us humans is figuring out when incubation actually begins.

This year we thought Dori finished laying eggs on March 15, when she had four, but she surprised us with a fifth egg before dawn on March 17.  Her next-to-last egg was on March 15 so my guess is that incubation began around March 16.  That means Day 32 is on April 17.

Here’s another way to calculate it.  When Dori laid five eggs in 2014, the number of days from first egg to hatch was 41 days.  This year her first egg was on March 8.  41 days later is April 18.

But I don’t really know.

If you’re a member of the Pittsburgh Falconuts Facebook page you’ve seen that John English predicted Hatch Date as April 15 or 16 plus or minus two days.  My guess is April 17 or 18.   Maybe you have a guess, too.  Only Dori and Louie know for sure.

Watch the National Aviary falconcam at the Gulf Tower for pips in the eggs.  Here’s more information on what to look for:

Nesting: When Will The Eggs Hatch?


(snapshot from the National Aviary falconcam in 2014 at the Gulf Tower)

4 thoughts on “Hatch Watch At The Gulf Tower

  1. With 5 little ones it will be a busy time at the nest but both parents are really devoted to taking care of their babies. So glad they are nesting where we can watch them.

  2. I am watching Dorie at 7:46 EST and I think she might be hearing one or more of the chicks because she has been very restless. About every 3 or 4 minutes she gets up, turns around, moves the eggs a little then lays back down on them. Also, from time to time she cocks her head down towards the eggs like she can hear them. Maybe one or more of them will hatch overnight or by early tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed!

  3. Joann, I’m noticing the same thing at 10:15am EST. She keeps cocking her head and looking down at the eggs. We may be close!

  4. I see a little one! 2:21 p.m. I just checked in on the Gulf Cam, and you can see an egg shell off to the left. When she adjusted her position, I could see one little fluffy chick! Still eggs there, so the process has started! I wish I knew when it happened and what I’ve missed today!

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