A wet and windy day at the watch point. The peregrines have been fairy inactive today, the tiercel has been doing most of the incubation with the falcon sheltering away, often out of sight but occasionally calling for food. The birds still seems a little confused with the falcon still relying heavily on the male to provided her with food, this is the kind of behaviour you would associate with courtship in March and later in May and June as he brings food for her to feed their young. Records from previous years show she is a more than capable hunter but doesn’t seems to bring in much food for herself at the moment.
The birds then surprised onlookers by mating this afternoon, although a pair will continue to mate after the eggs have been laid it is considered more of a act of courtship than reproduction. It seems strange to be see them still mating as we approach the last week in April.
Id often found myself lately saying to my volunteers and visitors alike that I’m no expert on peregrines but I have read a few books written by experts. I think its safe to stay with this poor spring and generally late laying of just one egg this season, we can throw the rule books out this year. I’m sure there will be plenty more surprises along the way.
Peregrines mating earlier in the month, complete with sunshine and a cracking side on view, showing the tiercel folding his talons back into a fist to protect the falcon from them during copulation. Thanks to volunteer Valerie Hutchin for capturing the magical moment.
Fingers crossed its a good egg.
Adam Murphy – Peregrine Ranger