Early birds lay two eggs over the weekend

NTU's resident peregrines are off to a flying start, laying two eggs over the weekend and getting ready for a busy season ahead.

Two eggs

Nottingham Trent University's resident peregrine falcons are well on their way to raising another successful brood. The female has laid two eggs over the last three days with more expected in the coming week.

The first egg came on Friday 17 March at 9.37 am, with the male watching as the egg was laid. We believe that this will be the new male's first offspring, so it is great to see him taking such an interest in the proceedings, and doing his share to keep the egg warm over a damp and chilly weekend.

After much anticipation, our avid falcon-watchers reported the arrival of the second egg at 9 pm on Sunday 19 March. Usually peregrines lay their eggs 36-48 hours apart, but this one took closer to 60 hours. If this is the schedule the peregrines are working to, then we should not expect a third egg until Wednesday morning, and a fourth until Saturday. Our female has rarely laid fewer than four eggs each year.

Early starters

The NTU peregrines are reputed to be one of the earliest-laying pairs monitored on camera in the UK. For the past two years, the first egg was laid on 14 March beating other pairs by as much as a fortnight. This year, however, they are a little behind schedule – perhaps due to the arrival of the new male making the courting and bonding process slower than in previous years.

This tardiness means that the NTU pair are not the first to lay their eggs this year. A pair nesting in Woking, Surrey beat them to it, laying their first egg on Thursday 16 March and their second two days later. Peregrines have been recorded in Woking since 2001, but they had not managed to breed successfully until a nest box was installed at "Export House", Woking's tallest building, last year. Two chicks successfully fledged from the site in June 2016 and we hope they do well again this year.

Other pairs that have also laid their first eggs over the weekend include a pair nesting on Norwich Cathedral, a pair at St John's Catholic Church in Bath, and a pair at the University of Sheffield. All of these peregrine nests can be watched online too, if watching the NTU peregrines is not enough!

Finally, we would like to thank the peregrine fans who have kept NTU and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust updated with events over the weekend. We would not have access to such great information and images without your dedication and support. Keep up the good work!

Gillian Moczarski

Early birds lay two eggs over the weekend

Published on 21 March 2017
  • Category: Environment and sustainability

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