Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Egg-cellent News

(Newsflash: 2nd Egg now laid. Images to follow.)

So, were we all caught out? I was. Our first egg appeared this morning at 5am precisely, surprising most of us by being a day or two earlier than expected. How do we know the precise time? Well, just watch the video and see for yourself!

Perhaps it's because our falcon is now quite an experienced old bird, but the time it took her to lay this egg seemed much shorter than on past occasions.  Just an hour and a half after laying her precious egg, the male flew in to let her fly off for a few minutes. This was his first close contact with the egg, and he immediately lay on it to keep off the morning chill.

But when the falcon returned it was clear that he did not want to relinquish his prize position. She, so much larger than him, stood on the edge of the platform, trying to oust him with gentle chirrupping calls. Be he stood his ground, head bowed over the egg, and after a minute or two she gave up and flew off, as we can see in the video below.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

The 2nd video is very interesting – is it that the male is still in mating mode rather than reluctant to get off the egg? Seems the silent bowing when in eye contact matches other behaviour over the last week or so.
RJ

Simon Taylor said...

superb footage. Most poignant having the bells ringing in the background. Very enjoyable

Phoebe said...

Again, superb footage! It is indeed eggs-cellent!

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Listen carefully and on the 5am video you can hear a blackbird singing its dawn chorus song before and after the bells!
Nick B (DWT)

Karen Anne said...

I love the look in his eye :-)

Uh, do the bells ring every hour all night? :-)

Sally said...

Oh to be in England, now that Spring is here.... Great catch!

Matron said...

Amazing video! it looks as if the church bells frightened the egg out of her!

cherrill said...

What a truly wonderful sight again, well done to everyone

Phoebe said...

The falcon is in an interesting pose. Is she regulating the temperature of the first egg or could she be about to lay the second egg...

Anonymous said...

Ah my screen had frozen I think she is just keeping the egg to temperature.

Phoebe said...

A nice close-up of the egg. The colour looks patchy is that normal or could it be the light?

Project Member (Derby Museum) said...

Answers to various questions:

You'll see the falcon adopt a hunched, wings spread apart-pose whilst sitting on eggs. You may also see here standing oddly as she tries to part her breast feathers to expose the eggs to greater warmth.

I'd guess that we may well have a second egg later today.

Right now we just see the egg(s) being prevented from getting too cold. The warmer it is, the longer the egg(s) can be left.

Peregrine eggs are indeed a bit patchy in colour. Here a some old ones from Derby Museums' collections: http://bit.ly/cPLeFc

If your webcam picture does freeze, it may be worth hitting F5 on a Windows PC to refresh the screen image.

Phoebe said...

Thank you for that link it is very interesting. I will take a visit to the museum to see the wonderful displays you have there :)

I too think the nest egg will be there before daybreak tomorrow.

bob said...

Matron beat me to it! No wonder the falcon laid an egg with those bells ringing forth. .. The female osprey is back at Loch of Lowes if you're interested

BobofFife

Pax Canada said...

I may be wrong, but I seem to remember another year where she either hatched an egg or laid one when the bells were ringing.

Cheryl Taylor said...

Yes, Pax Canada, I think it was two years ago, it was the last egg to hatch, and he became the famous "Tiddler", because he was so small. Cheryl Taylor Derby

Nick Brown (DWT) said...

Programme on predators on BBC1 TV tonight (Thursday) 9pm includes something on peregrines. Also I gather that in The Archers on the Radio 4, (a soap for those of you who don't live in the UK) a peregrine has taken up residence on the church spire....wonder where that story will go! I don't listen to that programme so won't discover!
nick B (DWT)

AnnieF. said...

Didn't we have a Tiddler last year, too?
Peregrine in nestbox rhs, with prey. Egg has been unattended for quite a while.

Karen Anne said...

Not sure what's going on in the rhs, maybe dinner?

Anonymous said...

Do peregrines ever actually go to sleep with eyes closed? always looks as though they are wide awake?

AnnieF. said...

There's a small piece of prey in the rhs of the nestbox, possibly the remains of what one of them was eating earlier. One peregrine is sitting on the egg; I wonder if we'll have another "delivery" overnight?

Phoebe said...

@ Nick Brown, thanks for the info on the predator programme tonight. I it was very interesting. I learned a lot about peregrines that I didn’t know especially about their nostrils; that was amazing! I noticed the first peregrine shown going into a stoop and missing the prey was a youngster. I would not have known that without watching this web cam.

@ AnnieF, I am hoping the second egg will be laid before daybreak tomorrow.

AnnieF. said...

@ Phoebe: Me too, but I doubt very much that I'll be up to witness the event!

Mrs B said...

I've been away for a while - so lots of excitement to come back to!! Last time I looked in the two remaining wild babies from last year were still hanging around. Are they still visiting, or have they moved on now their parents are on to the next brood?

KerrySuffolk said...

Both birds on nest platform. ?falcon feeding off prey item on rhs. No 2nd egg yet!

Karen Anne said...

Mom or Dad on egg.

AnnieF. said...

I feel sure she's about to lay the 2nd. egg, as she's been on the nest for ages, shifting her position etc. The tiercel has just arrived on the tower.

AnnieF. said...

The nictating membrane is showing quite a bit - is it a case of "close your eyes and PUSH"? !

Anonymous said...

2nd Egg Arrived

Tracy said...

Two eggs !!!!

Terri said...

Hi everyone. It's wonderful to see it all happening again this year right on cue. I was really pleased to see the first egg on Wednesday and now we have a second one, which is great. I'll be taking an avid interest over the next few weeks/months. Thank the Lord that spring has finally arrived, it's been a long hard winter, glad to see our peregrines have got through it unscathed!