|A full clutch - taken by HelenSara at 1800 hours on Thursday|
Now the clutch is complete (it is very rare for peregrines to lay five eggs) we have about a month (30 days) to wait until the eggs begin to hatch.
During this time, the female bird (the falcon) will do the majority of the incubation. Being 15% bigger than the male, her brood patch (the bare area on her underside that comes into contact with the eggs) is much better able to thoroughly warm the eggs than that of the smaller male (tiercel).
He will do all the hunting now - she won't do any..
When he arrives back with food she will slip off the eggs and he'll take over while she feeds, preens and stretches and (sometimes) flies off for a wash and brush up. As soon as she's ready to get back ont he eggs she'll make her intentions clear and the male will ski-daddle fast!
Incidentally we have no idea where they go to have a wash but, like all birds, they must be doing this to keep their feathers in tip top condition. Maybe there's a puddle on the top roof of Jurys Inn - or perhaps they find a gravel bank on the River Derwent somewhere nearby to their liking?
A Request :
Although this blog is primarily about peregrines, one of its other purposes is to try to encourage people who are drawn to watching our birds to go on to do something FOR the environment in one way or another. It could be by making a donation, by joining a local wildlife trust or some other wildlife organisation, by doing some voluntary work or, see below, by signing a petition.
Part of our work with this project has been and continues to be getting the peregrines and their lives into schools so that children can learn about these birds, how they came back from the brink of extinction and how they are now thriving once more, especially in towns and cities.
|Children watching the peregrines|
Now, however, there are governmental moves afoot to take environmental learning out of the school curriculum and the Wildlife Trusts are among many others who are very concerned about this development.
See http://www.derbyshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/news/2013/04/05/help-us-keep-nature-national-curriculum and (nationally) http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/news/2013/03/20/gove-knows-not-what-he-does
On these links there is a consultation/petition so if this does concern you (and of course there's no obligation whatsoever), please consider expressing your concern.
Thank you - but be aware that you only have until 16th April (next Tuesday) to do this!
|A visit from a juvenile - screen grab - Chris Fairbrother|
Nick B (DWT)