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Richmond Falcon Cam

Incubation Has Begun

  • March 28th, 2016

The number of eggs in the clutch remains uncertain, but all laying should be completed by now. We know that the female laid at least two eggs, but can’t confirm any more than that at this time. The typical clutch size for Peregrine Falcons is 3 – 4 eggs (although, one year this pair did have a clutch of 5). 

female falcon incubating eggs

The Richmond female incubating her clutch

For Peregrine Falcons, incubation usually begins when the second to last egg is laid. This pair is currently in their incubation phase, but given the uncertainty on the number of eggs laid, it is not entirely clear when exactly it began. A typical incubation period for Peregrine Falcons is 33-35 days. Incubation duties are shared by the male and female, but the female usually does the majority of it.

Since we don’t know when incubation officially began, predicting this year’s hatch date is difficult. If there are indeed only 2 eggs in their clutch and incubation began when the second egg was laid, we anticipate that hatching could begin April 21-24, but if incubation began when the first egg was laid, hatching could begin even sooner. In the case that there are more eggs than what we’ve been able to observe, then the hatch date may very well be a little bit later. The falcons sure are keeping us on our toes this year!

In the meantime, we will keep watching closely for incubation exchanges between the male and female and their occasional shifting of the eggs in hopes that we will be able to confirm the clutch size.