Its been a lovely sunny day at the watch site. The peregrines are still incubating and keeping guard of their eggs around the clock. Myself and the ranger team are doing our best to help out with the latter too. Not so much on the incubation.
Lots of visitors have been asking me how many eggs they have, and the truth is we still don’t know and I’m not in too much of a rush to try and find out. I can tell you that peregrines will normally lay a clutch of 2-4 eggs (although sometimes only 1 egg). I can also tell you that the behaviour of the pair suggests, after 10 days, of incubation the eggs are developing well, being regularly turned so not to over cook them on one side, they don’t want them hard boiled after all. Turning the eggs also helps to increase the oxygen flow within the shell, even embryos need some air to survive.
Incubation normally lasts approximately 28-32 days so in theory we can say we are a third of the way into our wee eggs development, which is quite exciting. That gives us a due date of early May and we could even have a first chick before the first weekend of the month. Now that certainly is exciting.
Whilst we are on the subject of egg maths, Ive been counting up the amount of eggs the current resident pair have had since the arrival of the falcon in 2004 (the tiercel was already present at the site and breeding with the original falcon from 2000 – 2003). The pairs have had a total of 31 eggs of which 23 (including 3 foster chicks) have successfully fledged from here.
We know of two separate, now adult birds, currently breeding in the Dumfries and Galloway area who were originally fledglings from the Falls of Clyde. One of which, a female aged 4, breeding near Moffat successfully laid and fledged all 4 of her offspring last year. Proof that our resident pair are, at the very least, the bird equivalent of Grandparents.
As a general rule of thumb, or talon, it is said that around one third or 33.3 % or peregrine fledglings successfully reach breeding age at 2/3 years old. If we consider that to be the case then we could say that our pair have replaced themselves in the wild approximately 7.5 times over, a very commendable effort indeed.
Hope to see you soon.
Adam Murphy – Peregrine Ranger