Thursday, April 14, 2011

Are They On Track Now?!

Well...Surprise!!! By last night Durand had managed to gather all of the eggs together herself! Here is a photo of the last egg a little closer to the main scrape last evening:From what I have seen so far today she seems to be a little more focused on incubating! But 5 eggs would be a challenge for even an experienced female. Unfortunately, her technique is still lacking. She is not staying down tight on the eggs and when she is setting often one or more eggs is not covered. As I write this at about 11:20 she is in more of a brooding posture:This intermittent incubation likely will not be enough for the eggs to develop--if they are even fertile to begin with. Because of her young age and the presumed young age of the male, it is possible that the eggs are infertile. I know I am sounding like a broken record here, but it will come down to watching and waiting to see how this situation develops! We should all be prepared for anything!

If it weren't enough dealing with eggs in different scrapes and irregular incubation techniques, yesterday there was another situation to deal with: A juvenile falcon was in the area and at least twice landed on the nest ledge only to be run off by Durand! These birds certainly don't "need" another distraction, but again-this is "real life" for a peregrine falcon!

Check out this video of the intruder. (Fast forward to about 55 seconds. Durand lands on the ledge first; the second bird to land is the juvenile.) Note the vertical streaking on the breast that indicates a young falcon. This bird also appears to be banded. Some have wondered if this could be Spirit from last year's nest returning. Anything is possible! It would have been nice to have gotten a look at the leg band code to help figure out the ID of this bird. Hopefully, it is now gone from the territory so that Durand and the male can move forward with learning/figuring out how to properly incubate!

P.S. Thanks for the many calls and emails of support everyone has been sending to me regarding the updates! It's great to know the fans out there appreciate my efforts. You are welcome, everyone!