First Egg at Great Spirit Bluff!

Michelle laid her first egg this morning at 8:09 AM CT:! This is her eighth year at Great Spirit Bluff, and her third clutch with unbanded male Newman. Although Michelle has tended to lay eggs deep in the wee hours of the morning, she laid her first egg at 7:48am back in 2014 – another cold, dry year that was even later than this one!

If she follows her usual pattern, she will lay eggs two and three about two days apart, and a fourth egg right around three days after the third – a laying pattern not too different than that of Mom Decorah! Full incubation will begin after the third egg is laid (assuming she lays a four-egg clutch), and hatch will begin 33 days after that.

In thinking about birds, I wondered if peregrine falcons have an unusually long incubation time. They stay on eggs almost as long as bald eagles, despite laying smaller eggs and producing smaller hatchlings. According to this chart, they do – and so do American Kestrels. Do all diurnal raptors have longer incubation times compared to passerine birds? I sense another egg blog coming on! The more we learn about the birds we watch, the more questions we have!