Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The No Update Update

At week #3 of setting on eggs we are officially into the "doldrums of incubation!" Therefore, it has been awhile since the last post because basically, there has been no change from the last report: Durand continues to do all of the incubation duty. The male occasionally can be seen perched on the ledge or on top of the nest box. Here he is from last weekend:While the male may not be helping with the eggs, he is providing food. Even though there are no visible food exchanges between them, we can assume he is providing because Durand's trips off the eggs are typically very short (sometimes only a few minutes in length). Such a brief respite would not give her enough opportunity to hunt, pluck and eat prey. Because she is gone from the eggs for such little time, she no doubt is getting food from the male either away from the cameras and/or from somewhere he has cached.

I will state again that after an awkward start, once she perfected the incubation technique that she continues to do a good job of staying tight on the eggs. Therefore, the cool, wet weather we have been having in Columbus this week will not affect the development of the eggs, because she is keeping them at a constant temperature regardless of what the actual air temperature is.

Another question I have been asked is are we going to name the male? There are no plans to do so at this time. When a falcon does not have leg bands it makes it very difficult to definitively identify an individual unless there is some distinctive variation in plumage or behavior. This male does not have leg bands and so far, nothing about him has stood out to help us differentiate him from another that could in theory, take his place tomorrow. If he sticks around into next season perhaps by then there may be some type of behavior that we can key in on that will help us have a reasonably good idea that we are dealing with the same individual and we will consider giving him a nickname at that point. Until then I will continue to refer to him only as “the male.”

Should things continue to progress normally we could expect hatching about the 3rd week of this month. More next time on that subject!