Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Egg No. 3

We have three eggs now. This photo was taken at 10:30 local time (now BST, as our clocks moved forward an hour last weekend from GMT).

Last year four egs were laid, but only two hatched. Despite this, the parents tried to keep the two new chicks warm whilst at the same time incubating the non-viable eggs for a considerable number of days. Eventually one got broken on the nest and - if I remember rightly - the shell was consumed by the female. The fourth got broken during the short struggle by our ringers (or banders, as they're called in the US) to safely capture the eyass (young chick) for ringing.

In answer to a number of recent questions left in "Comments", Nick Brown (DWT) recently wrote the following. His answers are well-worth repeating here:

"Loads of questions! Here's a few quick answers: By starting incubation right away, owls produce young of different ages. This is an adaptation to a fluctuating food supply (vole and mice numbers are well known to cycle from abundant one year to scarce the next). Often the smaller chicks die (or are eaten by their bigger siblings) and the brood size is reduced to match the food supply. Peregrines by comparison have a much more reliable food supply and usually rear all their 4 (even occasionally 5) young. So synchronised hatching makes sense.The reason the peregrines are covering the first and second eggs is to keep them warm (during what has been a cold snap of weather). Serious incubation - when she gets right down and opens up her hot 'brood patch' on the eggs -won't happen until at least the third and probably the fourth egg is laid.The last egg is often a bit smaller than the first three, so probably is slightly less likely to produce a strong youngster than the others. Some birds sit on addled or infertile eggs for weeks after the 'expected' hatching date. However, if say two of the four eggs hatch, the parents will start feeding these immediately while continuing to brood the other two eggs (and the small chicks). This happened last year on the cathedral. Gradually they just ignore the unhatched/dud eggs and focus their attentions on the two chicks."

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

well done mum, i wonder if there are more to come, what is the usual amount of laid eggs for a peregrine (wasn't it 3 last year, but only 2 hatched)?
lyndsey,ches

Anonymous said...

I am quite sure I saw the third egg being laid it was about 8.25am this morning, she was quite unsettled for about 3 minutes before she laid. I would just like to say I how much I enjoy watching these beautiful birds,and thank all the team for their hard work.

Anonymous said...

You were correct about seeing the egg being laid. I was also watching around this time. I looked at the clock on my PC it was at 8.26 that I got a view of the 3 eggs.
Don.

Anonymous said...

Nice view of the parents changing over (Female off, Male onto the eggs) at about 15.02 hrs.

Andy Marshall

Laura060690 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura060690 said...

I Watch these birds all the time and I Love watching them ...they are great :)

I have seen all the eggs being layed and i find it very interesting to sit and watch the peregrines. It is really good how they have set the cameras up so we can watch them online.

I cant wait till the eggs hatch :D

Froona said...

Congratulations everybody with this third egg! Both peregrines keep the eggs nice and warm. Wonder if there will be a fourth one and I hope they will all hatch.
Froona

matt said...

the birds are working very hard on and off the platform now. i go down to the cathedral once aday to watch wot they get up to. they are doing great. just like last year. matt derby...

Karen Anne said...

I'm wondering what is happening with the nest box camera occasionally? 3 or 4 times in maybe the last week, I've seen it alternating between a regular photo and a squashed out photo as it refreshes. I thought you were maybe adjusting it, but now I'm thinking, not this often? And not at this hour of the night? I think someone else mentioned this previously. (It's doing it now.)

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

It's something happening inside our video server, I think, Karen Anne. I don't think it's happening on the main nest camera feed, just on the multi-image view.
I'm reluctant to start fiddling with the server now that so many people are logging on to watch. I think we'll just have to put up with it, but it would be helpful to know if anyone does see the big, single nest camera image doing the same "stretching" that you've reported.

Anonymous said...

Pax B.C.
Karen dont know if it is the same
thing but once in a while it is like a double exposed picture, it only lasts a sec. or two, and then it is back to normal, cheers:)

Michael said...

Yes, the main picture does occasionally jump as described. However, my experience of computers is - leave well alone! Better to live with a small glitch than loose the lot trying to fix it. It is a very small price to pay for such wonderful pictures. Many thanks for all your efforts.

Anna, Ripley said...

I've just logged on during a break and have seen a change of shift on the eggs - it's lovely to see Dad doing his bit.

Anna, Ripley
11.12

Anonymous said...

12:40 Thurs 3/4/08 - thought I was looking at a "frozen" image but no, it's just a very devoted parent sitting tight. Am really enjoying watching the peregrines again this year, thank you peregrine team! What's the story with the ravens? Have they persevered with nesting plans on the catherdral or did they eventually go away?
Sue, Wycombe & Wendover (lunch break again - honest!)

Karen Anne said...

Hi,

You asked about stretching in the big camera photo.

I just had the three photo camera page and the single photo camera page up in separate windows, and both were doing the same thing for the nesting side of the nest box. Some pictures were almost totally black, some over exposed, some okay, some very closeup (that was nice), etc. I didn't see any stretching, however.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Karen Anne - that was me doing some late-night tweaking with the cameras (it's past midnight here in the UK). I wanted to get the night-time exposure right, but sometimes the camera gets fooled by the floodlights on our Cathedral Tower, and turns back to daytime mode - so it goes black. It's nice to know folk are watching when I zoom in the camera from my office at home - except when everything goes wrong of course -then I panic! Glad there's not been any more stretching of the images.
Nick and I spent this afternoon filming voice-overs for video clips to go onto the forthcoming DVD. More to do tomorrow, so I reckon it's off to bed now!
Goodnight. Nick M, Derby Museum.

Karen Anne said...

Woaw, google rules. Well, sort of. I never am quite sure what time it is in Derby until after I have posted a comment, my guess seems to be an hour or two off. So I went to google, thinking I would find some site with time zones on it. I typed
derby time
and right in front of the search results, it said:
1:21am Friday (EDT) - Time in Derby, Connecticut
Derby, United Kingdom 6:21am BST

Nick Brown said...

If Sue H would email me at DWT I would be grateful since I have been asked be someone studying urban peregrines across the UK what's happening in Bucks/Aylesbury and I've lost your email address somehow. No urgency.
Thanks,
Nick B
enquiries@derbyshirewt.co.uk

Anonymous said...

Non-UK viewers can get always find the local time in the UK as it's included in the header with each webcam picture. In fact both the date and the time are included.

Karen Anne said...

oops :-)

Anonymous said...

If you adjust the camera again, it's kind of nice to have the ledge below the nest box (the side where the eggs are) in view. The birds often seem to be on that edge.

Anonymous said...

Pax B.C. Canada 11.53am
A4th egg I think???

Stephanie said...

Yeah, i thought i just saw a glimpse of four eggs, might be wrong though!

tm said...

Tuned in at 19:40.

Lots of straining and ruffled feathers.

A few minutes later, I'm pretty sure I caught a glimpse of a new egg (darker and more moist looking) and then some attempts by the falcon to re-arrange and get comfy again.

I think I just witnessed a Peregrine laying an egg! How fantastic.

Just hope I'm not wrong...she's too busy keeping them all warm to let me get a glimpse of all the eggs.

:)