Richmond Falcon Cam

The Sun is Shining on a New Egg!

  • March 22nd, 2022

If you happened to be watching the Falcon Cam at sunrise this morning, you likely noticed the presence of a newly laid egg in the nest box! The first egg of 2022 appears to have been laid sometime overnight as it was not seen on camera around 11:00 PM when the lights went off on 3/21, but was visible in this morning’s (3/22) rising light.

Left: First egg of 2022 just barely visible in the nest box as the sun rises. Right: Close up of the recently laid egg.

Over the weekend, we observed the female spending an increased amount of time resting and maintaining the scrape in the nest box. When female peregrine falcons get closer to egg laying, they typically become more listless and spend an increased amount of time near the scrape. As such, the behavior we witnessed over the weekend was telling that we would likely see an egg laid in the near future.

The female falcon standing above the new egg.

Peregrine falcon clutch size averages between three to four eggs, although five egg clutches also occur on a less frequent basis. Because this female has consistently spent each of her previous breeding seasons downtown, we know that all of her previous clutches to date have contained four eggs. Time will tell if this pattern will continue for a third year in a row, or if we will begin to see some variation in the number of eggs laid.

Falcon eggs are typically laid in intervals of 48 to 72 hours so pay close attention to the Falcon Cam between 3/24 and 3/25 and you may be lucky enough to catch the second egg laying event! During this time, viewers may notice that the egg is frequently left uncovered. This behavior is normal for peregrine falcons as incubation often does not begin until the second to last egg is laid. By delaying the start of incubation, the eggs will hatch closer together resulting in the chicks developing at roughly the same pace.

Because the egg was laid overnight we were not able to capture any clear video footage from when the event occurred, however last year’s egg laying videos are available in the archives. If viewing conditions are right, we will provide video footage of additional eggs being laid when possible!

The male inspects the egg in the box. A prey item (likely a song sparrow) which he brought in during this visit is also visible to the left of the egg.