Lawrence Peregrines: incubating temps?

April 21, 2018 in In the Nest Box, lawrence peregrines, Peregrine Falcons Eastern Massachusetts, Peregrine Falcons Massachusetts

The peregrines start Saturday morning under fair skies, winds from the west at 5MPH, and temp at 39°F.  The forecast for the day ahead calls for patchy frost before 8am. Otherwise, sunny, with a high near 55. Northwest wind 6 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph. Sunrise at 5:54 AM.

2018.0421.2-001FINALLY! We’re FINALLY in for things to feel a bit more like spring! The weekend forecast features seasonable temperatures and loads of sunshine. That’s the GREAT news, especially for our incubating friends!  Just after 6 AM this morning the female lumbered up and out of the nest box after calling and wailing to the male for relief.  The male entered the nest box, moped around a bit and then hovered and lowered himself over the eggs in his usual haphazard way, not really seeming to care about heating all the eggs in a uniform way….hmmmm!

2018.0421.2-001In the local area, peregrine falcons typically incubate their eggs for 29 to 33 days. In the early days of brooding it’s important to keep the eggs as close to their ideal incubating temperature as possible. Too hot or too cool and the eggs won’t develop properly. Later in the incubation process, proper temperature isn’t quite as important. In fact, after a couple of weeks the falcons will be able to leave the eggs uncovered for longer periods of time. Sometimes leaving the eggs uncovered frequently, or for long periods can mean that the eggs hatch a few days later than normal.  This well protected nest box is in a place where it’s not likely to be disturbed, so they most often incubate steadily until the eggs hatch.

Literature cited:  Imprints Blog, The Journal of the Rfalconcam, Rochester Falcon Cam.  The Genesee Valley Audubon Society is the local chapter of the National Audubon Society in Rochester, NY. GVAS sponsors the Rochester Falconcam (Rfalconcam) as part of their education and awareness programs.