Apr 18 2008
I’m sure you’re beginning to wonder how much longer the peregrine falcons must incubate their eggs. It’s been going on a long time and they aren’t done yet. So when’s the happy day?
Peregrine eggs hatch around 33 days after incubation begins, but I have never been good about noticing when the parent birds switch from standing over the eggs to incubating them. (This switch occurs when two or three eggs have been laid - not after the first one.)
I do, however, keep records of first egg dates and hatch dates so I can give you a rough idea of what to expect based on past history.
At Gulf Tower, Tasha laid her first egg on March 11. Her eggs usually hatch 39-42 days later so this year’s clutch will probably hatch between April 19 and 22. Start watching the Gulf Tower webcam this weekend for new baby birds. News flash April 20: Tasha2′s eggs began to hatch this afternoon!
At Pitt, Dorothy laid her first egg on March 23. Her eggs usually hatch 38-40 days later so we can expect to see her first babies between April 30 and May 2.
Of course, just as with human babies, you can never predict exactly when they will be born.
Meanwhile, what is Dorothy doing?
For those of you watching the Pitt webcam yesterday afternoon you may have seen the adult female peregrine do something strange. She fanned out and hunched over (picture at left).
Dorothy was sunbathing. There are various theories as to why birds sunbathe ranging from eradicating parasites to straightening their feathers. They also might do it because it feels good. “Ahhhh”, says Dorothy, “nice heat on my back.”