Morela Laid a Second Egg

Morela with 2 eggs, 16 May 2020, 14:58 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

16 May 2020:

At 2:15pm today Morela laid a second egg at the Cathedral of Learning peregrine nest. It’s been a week since she laid the first egg on 9 May so this is quite surprising. Peregrine falcons normally lay eggs about 2-3 days apart.

This five minute video captures the moment she laid the second egg, though it’s hard to see it.

Soon, Morela appeared to start incubation. She deepened the scrape, positioned herself over the eggs and jogged her body so her belly feathers could fall away from her brood patch. Then she laid flat on the eggs.

This activity was short lived, however. By 4:15pm she had left the nest.

Two eggs at the Cathedral of Learning nest , 16 May 2020, 16:18

Who knows what will happen next. If she incubates the eggs will a male assist her? And if so, will it be Terzo or Ecco?

(photos and videos from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ. of Pittsburgh)

5 thoughts on “Morela Laid a Second Egg

  1. Since peregrine falcons do not start incubation until finished laying, will the eggs hatch at the same time?

    1. Nan, they actually start incubation after laying the next-to-last egg so maybe Morela will lay another. In any case, the eggs whose incubation started at the same time will hatch within hours of each other.

  2. Since the eggs were laid a week apart and the 1st egg has rarely been incubated what are the chances it will hatch? Remember we had some cold temperatures after it was laid and no one was keeping it warm.
    Also what’s going on at the bald eagle nest in Hays? Looks like the eaglets are outgrowing the nest.

    1. Unlike eagles, peregrine start incubation after laying the next-to-last egg; in this way almost all the eggs hatch on the same day. This also means that early eggs are not incubated after they are laid. It is normal for the early eggs to wait.
      What’s fatal to an egg’s development is on-again off-again incubation in which the egg’s temperature is raised by the adult’s body, then falls below the proper temperature when the adult is away for an extended period of time. Though Morela began incubating, she is not consistent about it and has left the eggs uncovered for hours overnight. This, more than anything, will determine the likelihood of the eggs hatching.

      Regarding the Hays eagles: Yes they are getting big. They won’t attempt to fly until they reach full size (same size as their parents) and have fully feathered wings and tails. At that point they will flap to exercise their wings and will walk off the nest.

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