Sometimes when the female returns to the nest she seems to be very anxious to kick dad off the nest and get back to business. Last week Thomas, a regular BRI Peregrinecam watcher, captured a great series of photographs showing the female returning to the nest. He posted these photos to BRI's online community.
Once back on the nest, ''Dad' or 'Mom' takes quite a bit of time settling back onto the eggs. You will see the parent with its tail in the air, working to settle its breast firmly on the eggs. Both the males and females lose feathers in the center of the breast to develop brood patches for incubation. The area becomes increasing vascular and swollen with fluid creating a surface that allows more efficient transfer of heat from the parent to the eggs. Generally the patch is not visible on peregrines because the remaining breast feathers in adjacent rows cover the area. If you have never seen a brood patch, go to Google Images and search for brood patches. Although I have not found an example of a peregrine brood patch there, there are many examples from other bird species. They are not a pretty sight but are interesting. Patrick first described them to me as looking like a large boil!
If you have questions about this pair or peregrines in general, please send them to us. We will do our best to answer them in the next blog.
Happy falcon watching,
BRI Peregrinecam Ambassador