18 March 2021
In case you missed it at the Cathedral of Learning peregrine nest: Morela laid her first egg of 2021 on 17 March at 11:50am. (Time code on the streaming camera says 11:53a but that camera is 3-4 mins early.)
The timelapse video below gives an overview of the day’s activity: Morela, Ecco and the egg.
Details of egg laying: As the next video begins Morela was standing over the scrape but is restless. She paces and squats, then Ecco arrives to bow. He watches intently while she concentrates on laying the egg. After he leaves Morela pushes (raises tail), pants and lays the egg at 11:53:45am. Notice how she makes sure not to touch the egg while it’s wet. She moves to shelter it from the sun.
Father bird’s first visit: It is always interesting to watch the father’s first visit to the egg, especially since Ecco is a first-time dad. Ecco arrived at 1:20pm, chirped at the egg, turned it, dug the scrape deeper, and sheltered the egg from the sun. He is taking an active role in the egg’s welfare.
Do not worry that the parents are not “sitting” on the egg right now. Unlike bald eagles peregrines do not begin incubation until the female has laid her next-to-last egg — and only the female knows when that egg will be.
Until incubation begins both parents guard the eggs and shelter them but will not “sit” on them to raise their temperature. They will be nearby but maybe not seen on camera.
Morela will probably lay 3-5 eggs, one every other day. If her total is four, incubation may begin on or around 21 March. We’ll have to wait and see.
Check my Peregrine FAQs for information on incubation, hatching and peregrine behavior.
Watch the action on the National Aviary falconcam at University of Pittsburgh.
(photos and videos from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)
p.s. Terzo is gone, last seen on 5 Feb. Ecco is the only male on site.