5 Eggs, No Fooling!

Five eggs at the Pitt peregrine nest, 31 March 2022 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

1 April 2022, April Fool’s Day

During the nesting season female peregrines typically lay one egg every two+ days. Though the interval is not exact, we were sure Morela’s clutch was complete when she began incubation after egg #3, laid egg #4, and did not lay another. We were surprised when Kim Getz saw five eggs yesterday afternoon. She sent me a snapshot. Oh my!

When did the fifth egg show up? Almost five days after the fourth.

  • First egg: 3/18/2022, 08:31am
  • Second egg: 3/20/2022, 20:09 = 2.5 days later
  • Third egg: 3/23/2022, 04:40 = 2.4 days later … began incubation
  • Fourth egg: 3/26/2022, 06:32 = 3.1 days later
  • Fifth egg: 3/30/2022, 19:08 = 4.5 days later

It is a very odd looking egg. One side is the normal reddish color while the other is white. Did her Morela’s body not lay down pigment on one side? Very odd.

Ecco with 5 eggs; 5th egg is oddly colored, 31 March 2022 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

The delayed fifth egg will make for a long hatch period. The first three eggs, incubated equally, will hatch on the same day. The fourth will probably hatch 2-3 days later, matching its appearance after incubation began. The fifth will probably hatch a week after the first three.

It’s going to be an interesting year. No fooling.

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

7 thoughts on “5 Eggs, No Fooling!

  1. So nice to see. It will be interesting to see what the 5th bird looks like. Thanks for sharing.

  2. A nice large brood this year. Do you have any info on where and when the largest amount of eggs were laid? Thanks for keeping us up to date.

    1. Michael, Pitt is the only nest with a camera so we won’t know how many eggs were laid and certainly not when they were laid until each site fledges *and* someone reports on them.

  3. Yes! I had a feeling. Lol The nest on UC Davis Hospital in Sacramento had five a couple of years ago. We were all worried about the “runt” who hatched so much later but at the end of the day, they all made it and thrived (it’s hard to watch the feedings when the little guy seems to be pushed aside by the bigger ones). Hoping for the same outcome here. Happy Friday All!

  4. Rochester NY has been lucky to have two legacy females. Beauty from 2009-present (born Cathedral of Learning 2007) who superceded Mariah 1998-2009.

    Before Mariah retired from her nesting duties, many feel she holds the record for the most 5-egg clutches (six years in a row): 2003, 2004, 2005 all 5 fledged successfully; 2006 6 eggs laid, but Mariah injured her leg, only 3 fledged; 2007 5 eggs laid, 1 went missing 4 fledged; 2008 5 eggs laid, 5 fledged successfully.

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