Lawrence Peregrines: First egg!!

April 5, 2018 in In the Nest Box, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

2018.0405.1Here we are at minutes before 6AM, with sunrise at about 6:16AM, and looking in on the female.  It sure looks like she is hunkered down tight on her fist egg.  But, not yet able to confirm until she lifts up, and provides a look!  She is seen here in typical incubation posture, providing every indication that the first egg has been laid.



2018.0405.2A few minutes before 8AM, the male returns to the nest box with prey in bill and offers it to the female who has maintained her incubation posture.  As she receives th eprey, she does little to help confirm that the first egg has been laid!




2018.0405.3Finally after waiting and waiting, the female laid her first egg early this morning well before sunrise.  Her behavior was very consistent with the general lethargy that a female falcon typically experiences  in the few days prior to laying the first egg.  In many cases this lethargy may last a week or longer.  She lazes around and spends lots of time in the nest box, nest scraping, and other courtship related activities.

Incubation usually will not begin until the second to last egg has been laid.  In this colder weather, the female will spend time incubating the egg, but it may not be a non-stop effort!

Literature cited:

Nelson, R.W. 1971. Captive breeding of peregrines: suggestions from their behavior in the wild. Raptor Research News 5(2):54-82.