Swift and Beau’s third egg arrived early this morning

Apologies for the delays in writing, as I think everyone’s seen the great news from earlier this morning (local time). Swift produced her third egg a little after 3.30am and the colour looks fairly healthy, as are her two earlier efforts. Beau has been tending as best he can today but in possessing only a “2-egg undercarriage” he’s restricted to an unusual hovering stance to successfully cover all three eggs! We’ve amused ourselves at Beau’s expense over the last few years as his efforts against great odds, when the count is 3, has posed him logistical problems, and surely that look on his face now is one of bewilderment once more!

Swift seems to be tired but is a trooper and is eating very well. Beau has arrived a couple of times today with a snack. Cilla could correct me but today’s quarry again appears to be entirely introduced starlings. Indeed at one point Swift kept her snack in the eyrie and went back to it later on, showing it off in front of the ledge camera (not for the squeamish).

The question we ask now is, how many more eggs will appear, or will a quorum of three be a constant for Swift once more? This week we’ve retrieved some absolutely amazing, beautiful photos of these two peregrine falcons; too many to upload here but I’ll be rehashing the photo galleries soon and will load as many quality shots up as possible, for all to see. Not a day goes past when we don’t consider ourselves privileged to be a (silent) part of these two raptors’ lives. The solo pics of both birds are a treat but especially in the last couple of days we’ve watched some close interactions as well. Many regulars  on campus often mention to us in passing that they enjoy hearing the peregrine calls across the trees and around the tower. We’re putting forward ideas now as to how we can expand our coverage, possible new camera locations, the use of PTZ technology etc. We’d look at trying the new-fangled UAV flying cameras to follow these falcons but there’s a chance we may not get our equipment back!! If there’s anything we can do to further the global understanding of peregrine falcons then it’s on the cards.

[ video clips – Swift laying her third egg , Swift and Beau interacting with their clutch ]

Swift's number 3 for 2014
Swift’s number 3 for 2014
2014's eggs so far, in daylight
2014’s eggs so far, in daylight
Beau's turn on the clutch of 3
Beau’s turn on the clutch of 3
Breakfast's ready - "Starling Benedict"
Breakfast’s ready – “Starling Benedict”

11 thoughts

  1. It just gets better & better Scott, but I hope they now stop at the three as I am feeling quite sorry for ‘little’ Beau!!
    Fingers firmly crossed in our little group in UK that we see a successful hatch of all three, be lovely when we can see the bobbleheads!
    Looking forward to any further technology you can bring to this project, but have to say that it’s pretty good now!
    Good luck everyone
    Kind regards
    Wendy
    PS: We have a really good vid of the laying on our website courtesy of Scyllabub!

  2. I tend to agree with Wendy as to “stop at three”, let’s not over do it !!
    I think a world contingency is pulling for Beau & Swift to have great success this year. ~~ Scott ~~ was that Starling Benedict or Starling A La Carte being served ?? Either way, I am sure it was yummy.

  3. [[We’d look at trying the new-fangled UAV flying cameras to follow these falcons but there’s a chance we may not get our equipment back!!]]

    It most likely would be stooped out of the sky by one of them 😀 They are not afraid of anything, I have seen photographs of a falcon dive bombing a Bald Eagle, so . . . 😉

    1. Ingrid,
      We may have to employ various forms of “stealth” or “cloaking” technologies if we went down that UAV track, but knowing Beau he’d fly straight in to it without realising!

    1. Hi scylla,
      Access to campus at this time of the night is fairly awkward but this needs further study on the surveillance server, so as soon as we can get to it tomorrow we’ll have more answers. No doubt, in between now and then, there will be further glimpses of the aforementioned cracked egg. Let’s hope it was just a bad light angle, but from your pics there does appear to be an issue as Swift was attentive to it. Not good news… more soon. We’ll sort out better after-hours access to the servers early this coming week. Thanks for advising.

  4. 🙁

    Right at the beginning of Scylla’s video (the long version) you can that Swift is touching that egg, perhaps with her tongue?
    She definitely is licking it at 2 minutes into the video.

    This is really worrisome, egg shells should not be that fragile and/or brittle. And it’s the second year now that this is happening.

    Something is interfering with her capability to produce strong egg shell. Age? Pollution of some kind?

    I hope you will be able to find out more about this. If it it is environmental, it’s very important for the whole region, for all wildlife.

  5. So heart-breaking to see this so early on & hope & pray will not be a repeat of last year!
    Definitely saw Swift cleaning out the broken egg & munching on the egg shell & I just saw the half shell discarded near to where she is carefully brooding the remaining two!
    Our Scylla here bravely recorded all the happenings & I know it wasn’t easy for her to do so!

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