Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Should we expect a full clutch?

Now that April 1st is out of the way (no comment but see the previous post if you missed it!), we can look forward to the laying of a third egg tomorrow, 48 + hours after the second.
We have become very accustomed to our female laying a full clutch of four eggs. After all, she has done so since 2007 (she only laid three eggs in 2006 - her very first year of breeding).
Our fruitful female

However, as she gets older, we need to be aware that her egg-laying capacity may diminish and she may only lay three or even two eggs.
Also it could be that the male's fertility will decrease...but hopefully not this year let alone next - which will be their tenth year breeding together, assuming both of them survive into spring 2015.
With luck, and now maybe tempting fate a wee bit, we expect the fourth egg to be laid around Friday/Saturday and if that is the case, full incubation will start straight away.
This allows us to predict when the chicks might appear and when they will be big enough to peer over the front of the platform and be seen from below. Ian Layton, our Engagement Officer, will now be able to start planning the Watch Points that we run each May and June down on Cathedral Green behind the cathedral.

For those of you new to Derby's peregrines these are events where we bring telescopes so that anyone passing by (or coming specially) can see the birds 'for real'. Details of dates etc will appear on this blog nearer the time of course.
 
So, there's plenty to look forward to...though, once incubation starts, be warned; things will go very quiet for about a month.
Nick B (DWT)

17 comments:

Kate said...

Thank you Nick
Like the comment "all will then be quiet for a Month"
Beginning to be that way now CHOL:):)

Kate said...

Still only TWO eggs all alone this morning 07.24

Linda said...

Think something may have happened @0839. She's eating grit and could be wrong but think there may be no3.
Linda

Phoebe said...

@ Linda, I didn't see that. It is the tiercel on the eggs at the moment. The falcon is out of view.

Phoebe said...

Falcon arrived to take over from the tiercel. Still two eggs.

Sue Peregrino said...

Nick talks about the fertility of birds declining with age (just like we humans I suppose!) and it makes me wonder if this is the root of the problem at Aylesbury where our pair have only produced the one egg (with a strange history for previous years)Interesting food for thought.

Phoebe said...

@ Sue Peregrino

From what I know peregrines mate and lay eggs right until the end of their lives. Yours could well be much older birds.

Here at Derby incubation appears to be pretty much full on now. We may only have two eggs or just one more egg but who knows with this pair.

Nick B (DWT) said...

It's a cold, wet afternoon here in Derby with an easterly windy blowing into the platform. Just as well the tiercel is keeping the eggs dry and warm.
Just before doing a radio interview (the third that BBC Radio Derby has requested since the first egg was laid!)this morning I saw a change over with the male flying down to relieve the female.....
With luck egg No. 3 may appear before the end of the day or during the night (says he playing safe!)
Nick B (DWT)

Phoebe said...

Hopefully we will get a third egg sometime today .

Going by 2012 season when the first and second eggs were laid 29th and 31st respectively (same as this year) then the third egg is due today. In 2012 the fourth egg was later by 3 days, not being laid until the 5th April.

Christine H said...

Well there's no sign yet and by my calculation it's about 56 hours since the 2nd egg was laid, maybe we will see some action later but I've been up since 3.30 am so may miss it - will check in early again tomorrow and keep fingers crossed for the Derby lass

Phoebe said...

I think the third egg is on its way!!

Phoebe said...

Yes!! 3 eggs now

AnnieF. said...

Just seen egg#3 at approx. 21.10hrs.

Phoebe said...

Pics on flickr from Helen and from me.

Helen said...

Yep, third egg at 21.10.
Fantastic! You could see a slight movement as she laid it.

Phoebe said...

It's good news. She could be on track for a full clutch after all. Fingers crossed.

What a great pair this is!

Helen said...

Looking back through some screen grabs I think it was about 21.08 when the third egg was laid.