Mar 26 2014
Dorothy laid her first egg on March 20. It appears to be her last and she is not incubating it.
In her prime Dorothy laid an egg every 2.5 days until she completed a clutch of four or five. She always hatched all or all-but-one.
Last year her age began to show. Her time between eggs was prolonged, three eggs did not hatch, and one of the hatchlings was too handicapped to live.
Back in 2010 I wrote about what happens when female peregrines age (click here). Dorothy is now 15, two years older than the average adult life expectancy of 13. So we’re learning something.
Yesterday Mary DeVaughn coined the term “hen-o-pause” on the Pittsburgh Falconuts Facebook page. I don’t know if birds experience anything like menopause but it explains Dorothy’s solo egg and her lack of desire to incubate.
She’s certainly the right age for “hen-o-pause.”
(photo from the National Aviary falconcam at University of Pittsburgh)