Keith Betton and Richard Jacobs from the Hampshire Ornithological Society will be updating us regularly with how the Peregrines are progressing.
17 March 2020
Our first egg in the Peregrine nest. This is a day later than last year. The female (shown here) should lay eggs every 2 days now until she has a clutch of 4, but will not cover them regularly until the third egg. She wants to have most of her chicks hatching on the same day and one a bit later. It can be used as food for the others if prey gets scarce. Mark your calendar on 26 April …. when that first egg should hatch.
20 February 2020
Despite the wet and miserable weather we are having our Peregrine pair are feeling spring-like as they have been seen mating and they have already made a small hollowed area in the soft gravel in which to put their eggs. We fully expect to see the female sitting on the nest by mid-March and she will probably lay 4 eggs with intervals of 2 days, although she may delay eggs 3 and 4, particularly if it is cold. Do not worry if you see the eggs left exposed at the early stages – the female starts her incubation of around 30 days once egg 3 has appeared.
We will aim to give you regular updates on what we know is happening, although for those 30 days there is not much to tell you as the female will sit tight, leaving only occasionally for a quick feed and some personal hygiene. The male sometimes takes over from the female during these breaks, but as he does not have a brood patch (bare skin that the female presses against the eggs) and he is quite a lot smaller than her, he may only do this for 20 minutes – if at all.
Every now and again we will let you know some interesting Peregrine facts. This week’s fact:
Although Peregrines are loyal to their mate and stay together so long as both are healthy, it is know that at the time of egg-laying the female may mate with other males that are not her partner. Although this must seem rather unfair to us, it means that the gene pool for her babies will be more diverse than if she just mated with her partner.