Six Eggs at Xcel Energy’s Sherco Plant?

A falcon on six eggs? That is what we appear to have at Xcel Energy’s Sherco plant in Becker, Minnesota! The first four eggs laid here were fully pigmented, but the last two are lighter in color and easily identifiable. A few possibilities:

  • The falcon is incubating four eggs laid this spring and two eggs laid last spring. Last year’s resident falcon laid four eggs, but none of them hatched. Two of them appeared to have survived the winter and could just be seen toward the back of the box. Did she find them and roll them under her? The two eggs have vanished from their former location.
  • The falcon was replaced by a new female, who laid two eggs and is incubating the full clutch. Females may incubate a rival’s eggs, although I’m more used to seeing either destruction or complete failure when turnover happens at this stage.
  • The falcon laid a six-egg clutch. Six-egg clutches are very rare, with just six being recorded in Britain and one in the United States according to the book “The Peregrine Falcon” by Derek Ratcliffe. While this is the least likely scenario, it would be amazing if the Sherco falcons were able to hatch and provide for six eyasses!

Hatch is predicted to begin here around May 4th. We’ll be watching the site to see what hatches! You can follow Sherco on our website at http://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/xcel-energy-cams/ (scroll down the page) or at Xcel Energy’s site: http://birdcam.xcelenergy.com/Cams/Sherco_Falcon