Sunday, 10 April 2011
We have a Fourth Egg
Clutch sizes of three or four are normal in peregrines. But, because egg-laying was as late this year as it was in 2007, it seemed more likely that we would only have a clutch of three in 2011. However, reports of a fourth egg began coming in on Saturday morning (9th April) around 7am, which were confirmed later by this lovely screen capture posted to our Flickr Group by HelenSara. Your Peregrine Project Team maintain a table of dates for key events over the last few breeding seasons. Normally, as the female gets more experienced, the dates of laying get progressively earlier. Here are the dates for first egg, last egg and date of hatching over the last few years: 2007 3 April 9 April, 9 May Incubation: 30 days 2008 28 March 4 April, 4 May Incubation: 30 days 2009 23 March 31 March 29 April Incubation: 30 days 2010 24 March 31 March 1 May Incubation: 31 days 2011 4 April 9 April So we see incubation takes around thirty days, giving us an expected hatching date of 9th May. Quite why she was later this year is not known. Do we still have the original female as last year (we're 99.9% sure that we do)? Has the colder weather this year delayed things? The answer is we simply don't know. These next few weeks will be rather quiet times on the webcams, with the female doing most of the incubation. Sometimes the male will come in and take over while she feeds and preens, but she soon returns to oust him from his paternal duties.