There is much anticipation at the peregrine watch this week as the chicks could be hatching any day from the 1st May. The last egg was laid on the 31st March and it roughly takes 29 to 32 days to incubate. A clear indication that the hatching is quite close is the fact that the falcon (female) over the last 5 days has done a lot more of the incubation. On some days she has almost doubled the incubation time of the tiercel.
As the time comes closer to hatching the falcon will eat a lot more grit around the nest site to aid with the digestion of the egg shells after the chicks have hatched. The eggs shells are added calcium, so no food is wasted by the peregrine.
Below is a photo of the tiercel enjoying the sunny weather over the bank holiday weekend. He opened his wings and was sunbathing. This kind of behaviour is similar to that of a cormorant as it helps to keep them cooler.
Tom – Species Protection Officer