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Skeptical, but letting things play out

As most falcon-watchers know, the Peregrine Falcons have resumed incubating their eggs after abandoning them for about two days at the end of April.  The two days or so the eggs were left exposed to the elements were rainy and chilly.  At the time, when the birds were gone, that appeared to be it – the end of the 2017 nesting cycle.   Is that still the case?

My understanding is that the falcons more or less commenced incubation on 24 April after the third egg was laid.  They then abandoned the eggs on the morning of the 29 April after the fifth egg was laid.  About two days later they resumed sitting on the eggs.  These have been unusual events and my opinion is that I am very skeptical anything will come of this resumption of incubation, but I’ll also admit that I am also uncertain about the final outcome.  I’ve reached out and chatted with a couple of raptor experts and they’ve voiced similar opinions of skepticism and uncertainty.  It may also be valuable to recognize (again) that this falcon pair has also experienced very low hatching success of individual eggs the past two years.  Only one egg of four hatched in 2015 and one egg out of five hatched in 2016.  Even without the irregularities that have occurred this year, some or even all of the eggs could have already been infertile.

Everyone will just have to let events play out and the answers will present themselves before too long.  If you want to watch events play out, visit our Falconcam by clicking HERE.   Additional Peregrine Falcon news and discussion can be found at the Peregrine Falcons Lincoln NE Facebook page.  Finally, thanks to Jeanne Hibbert for filling in some of the details regarding the timeline.

Good birding!

About Joel Jorgensen

Joel Jorgensen is a Nebraska native and he has been interested in birds just about as long as he has been breathing. He has been NGPC’s Nongame Bird Program Manager for eight years and he works on a array of monitoring, research, regulatory and conservation issues. Nongame birds are the 400 or so species that are not hunted and include the Whooping Crane, Least Tern, Piping Plover, Bald Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon. When not working, he enjoys birding.

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