Good morning! I was so excited to wake this morning and see that the females was still on the nests. Then with coffee in hand I waited to see if there was an egg. YES THERE IS!
What great news. I wanted to give you some basic nesting biology.
Incubation is 35 days give or take a day. That would mean that the first egg should hatch around May 6th. Mark your calenders! Some of you have asked how this timing compares to the rest of the state. Yesterday I asked our Raptor Program Director, Chris DeSorbo, about the timing of nesting. He told me we are right in the middle of the time when birds start nesting in Maine. So the birds are right on time.
Over the nest 3-6 days we should see the rest of the eggs laid, which generally will be one to two more for a total of 2-3 eggs. You will see the female on the nest most of the time (around 75%). Look for her standing up and rotating the egg around every 1/2 hour.
Also you may be able to see how careful the adults are around the egg. They will walk around the egg with their talons balled up in a fist so they don't damage the egg.
Finally, there was a question about how long an egg can go without being incubated. Although the exact amount of time is not fully understood, the eggs can withstand a little bit of cooling.
This is great news!
Thank you for all your great observations.
BioDiversity Research Institute