Earth Day is on April 22nd . For the past few years, SW and her mate have helped us celebrate Earth Week with newly hatched chicks. This year the fourth egg was laid on March 23rd, and incubation usually lasts 33 to 35 days from the date the last egg, or the second last, was laid. When do you think the first egg will hatch?
Right now you can look for signs that point towards hatching. In the last few days before the hatch, the female often does not want to leave the nest and chases the male away if he offers to take over incubation. In this picture, Boomer had to bring food very close to the nest before SW would come to get it.
As you monitor the FalconCam, you may notice that the parents sit on the eggs with their backs arched, and sometimes they seem to be listening to their eggs. Are the little chicks peeping inside???
Mr. Scott Wright, volunteer nest monitor, offers the following hatching information: "Look for an eggshell, but do it quick as the female will often eat the eggshell, and move the shell about, often picking it up with her beak. Yes, eggs can hatch out during the night. Hairline cracks will indicate that a hatch is under way".
It's hard to see on the FalconCam, but you can look for tiny cracks on an egg that is about to hatch and a "pip", which is a small hole that the young bird inside the egg has made with its special egg tooth. According to Mr. Harvey Webster, Director of Wildlife Resources at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, “It generally takes 24-36 hours between the onset of the pip and actual hatching. The parents do not assist in the hatching process”.
And here is SW on her break. In this picture you can see the 2 brood patches on her breast that keep the egg temperature just right during incubation.
SW quickly returns to her eggs and waits in the rain……….
The eggs will be hatching soon, so keep your eyes and browser set on: http://www.falconcam-cmnh.org/news.php
For more about falcons, go to: http://raptorsinthecity.org/
Our thanks to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for sponsoring the FalconCams.
Today’s photos are courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Saladin, volunteer peregrine nest monitors. They may be used in any non-commercial publication, electronic or print, but please give photo credit.