13 May 2020
Since late February two male peregrines, Terzo and Ecco, have been vying for the Cathedral of Learning and Morela’s attention. When she finally laid an egg in the wee hours of 10 May we were — and still are — full of questions: Who’s the father? Are both males still present? Will Morela lay another egg? Will this egg hatch?
The video below of Morela and Ecco on Sunday 10 May, 1:18p, provides a few answers. In it, Morela encourages Ecco to come bow with her at the nest. He joins her and bows but is obviously distracted and warily watches the sky. Morela tries to attract his attention. They exchange a glance. She gives up and leaves.
In the clip you can see that Morela’s crop is full. Since she’s bowing with Ecco just after eating, my guess is that he provided the food.
Ecco is really distracted and appears to be looking for a rival, not for a predator that threatens the nest. Terzo shows up 20 minutes later (1:38p-1:43p).
Will Morela lay another egg? I doubt it. She has passed the 2-3 day window when a new egg should appear. More importantly, egg production depends on the amount of attention she receives from her mate and she needs a lot of it. Ecco and Terzo are too busy to pay attention.
Will this egg hatch? No. It takes two dedicated peregrines to incubate the eggs and raise the chicks. Without a male taking his part in incubation, the egg will not to hatch. Morela knows the males are too distracted.
“Excuse me, my dear, while I check the sky.”
(photo and video from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)