Apr 17 2009
Every day has the same routine. Dorothy spends the night on the nest and wakes as the sun rises. E2 roosts nearby and is already out hunting as she awakes. When he returns he calls to her, then takes the prey to a cache area to pluck it. He insists on preparing it himself and won’t let her eat until it’s ready.
Dorothy waits. When her breakfast is properly prepared, E2 flies out with it and calls again. She comes out to get it and he flies to the nest to take over incubation. He turns the eggs and gets ready for a long sit.
After Dorothy eats and preens and flies a bit she’s ready to sit again. Sometimes when she comes back to the nest E2 doesn’t want to leave and they “discuss” whether it’s her turn. Dorothy always wins these discussions. E2 leaves and she resumes incubation. In a few hours it will be his turn again.
This changing of the guard happens over and over every day during incubation (33-35 days) and brooding (about a week). You can see a slideshow of it if you click on the picture above.
At the Gulf Tower the adult peregrines, Tasha and Louie, have nearly finished incubation. Their eggs will hatch in a few days, approximately April 19th, give or take a day. At Pitt the eggs will hatch around April 25th. (This post was written in 2009.)
(photo from the National Aviary webcam at the University of Pittsburgh peregrine nest)