Hatching over?

Last year two eggs hatched together in the afternoon of 5 May, with a third hatching fairly early the following morning.  So we’re a week ahead of last year, possibly a response to the generally mild weather through January and February.  But it looks as if the outcome of the clutch may be the same, with three of four hatching.  Last year the fourth egg failed to hatch as it was punctured by the male’s talons when he arrived at the nest on one occasion.  Whether or not this has been the case again will be very hard to determine, but there’s still hope that it may hatch.  The norm is for eggs to hatch at roughly the same time, but there can be a gap of up to several days.

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Food was first brought to the nest (by the male) when only one egg had hatched, but within a few hours of the second and third chicks hatching within minutes of each other two food items had been brought in.  First was a Coot – an unusual prey species – though this was not fed to the chicks, as below.

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Shortly after this what looked like a Feral Pigeon was brought in and fed in tiny pieces to the three chicks – their first feed.  At least one feed took place today, with all three chicks feeding well, as below.

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Andy D sent me a screengrab of the female eating eggshell earlier today, interesting behaviour that is apparently routine but rarely seen.

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Something else that is out of the ordinary that was captured on camera yesterday was the appearance of a Woodpigeon near the nest.  I could hear it singing loudly and thought it had to be pretty close to the webcam, and it then appeared in view right at the side of the next platform!

Pigeon and PG 28 April

It didn’t jump onto the box or peep over the side, but the curiosity Woodpigeons have shown in the platform on a couple of occasions now is pretty surprising, and decidedly risky.

At present the female continues to incubate the fourth egg and brood the three chicks overnight, though it’s the male arriving in the picture above and he continues to incubate/ brood.  Last year the fourth egg continued to be incubated for around a week after the other eggs hatched, and the adult continued to turn it and pull it under their breast for a good four-five days, though it was increasingly pushed aside as the chicks grew and space under the brooding adult became less and less.

And today’s Peregrine fact?  I’ve prepared quite a few that can be found under the ‘Peregrine FAQ’ tab on the top menu above and hope they give food for thought.  Topical for tonight is an average UK clutch size of 3.65 over a long period compared to the average fledged brood size of 2.57 young.

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5 comments

  1. Interesting comment re the female eating the egg shells. I saw her doing this just after the second and third eggs hatched. And as Tammy says, it looks as if the final egg may have hatched, from the quick glimpse I got just now. The male just brought quite a big bird to the nest, but after a quick inspection by the female he flew off with it.

  2. Just seen a feed and still cannot make out 4, just a bundle of white fluff with heads bobbling, hard to make out, but no sign of an egg, so maybe we have 4. Exciting times 🙂

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