Monday, April 24, 2017

Last Leg of Incubation

All continues to progress normally at the nest and incubation continues with no problems or drama! We are now beginning the last leg of incubation.  As we get closer to hatch we can expect to see a change of activity with the adults.  During the majority of incubation the adult sits tight on the eggs.  But once the eggs are close to hatching, the eggs need less uniform heat so we may see the adults up off of the eggs more often.

The entire hatching process takes quite a long time during which the chicks will begin chirping and pecking at the inside of the egg as they begin their long journey to the outside world.  The chick will work then rest, then work some more, then rest over the course of many hours.  The adults will be able to hear and feel these vocalizations and vibrations underneath them and will react.  Instead of mostly sitting tight and still on the eggs, we can expect the adult to get up off the eggs more often, look at the eggs, as well as settle back down on them tight.  The adult may even sit overall higher on the eggs as a result of the activity occurring underneath him/her.

We are also headed into a stretch of warmer and sunny weather so we can expect the tending adult to shade the eggs if it is particularly sunny and warm.  This keeps the eggs at the correct and uniform temperature so they do not overheat.  The adult may pant during these episodes but that is normal and the way that they cool themselves.

Hatch is predicted around May 1 (give or take) so as soon as later this week we could begin to see the changes in behavior of the adults as described.  Unfortunately, we won't have audio to help us monitor for chirping.  And, don't forget--with this being the male's first time breeding, it is possible that the eggs may not even be fertile.  But, we'll hope for the best and perhaps by this time next week I'll have "egg-citing" news to report!

P.S. The ledgecam is down this morning but we hope to have it restored soon.