Unfortunately, it is safe to conclude the 2017 nesting attempt by the Capitol’s Peregrine Falcons is unsuccessful. This is not an unexpected outcome after the pair abandoned their eggs for 2-3 days in late April. The pair has experienced reduced egg fertility in recent years and this may have also contributed to the lack of hatching success this year Unlike the 2016 attempt, there are no last minute surprises or miracles whereby at least one egg hatches.
The Peregrine Falcons are currently down to one egg. Two were lost when they got stuck to the female’s breast feathers and were inadvertently carried out of the nest box. Two of the remaining eggs were consumed by the adults over the weekend of 3-4 June. The final egg is likely infertile since we are well past the normal incubation period of about 33-36 days.
These birds have produced a lot of drama and excitement over the past thirteen nesting seasons – and especially within the last year. As is regularly noted on this blog, both birds are getting up there in age. The male is sixteen years old and the female is thirteen years old. Furthermore, the male was injured last year and spent several months in rehab before being released in October. It is reasonable to wonder whether this will be the last ride on the merry-go-round for this pair and whether the same two birds will return next year. We will have to wait to find out that answer next spring. Until then, good birding!