2nd Mount Clemens Peregrine nest of 2006 a bust
MOUNT CLEMENS , Mich. , June 27, 2006 – Visitors to the Macomb County Peregrine falcon Web cam notice that the second nest of the year started by Horus and Hathor has been abandoned.
One of the three eggs in this nest disappeared sometime during the past two weeks. Then Sunday night, June 25, one of the remaining eggs was broken. Kariann Anderson, a Peregrine specialist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, said she saw the female, Hathor, standing over the broken egg on Sunday evening apparently trying to gauge the situation.
Sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning, June 26, Hathor abandoned the nest. The broken egg and the last intact egg are all that remains visible on the county Web cam.
Consequently, the Web cam will be taken down shortly. Further information will be available soon.
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich., June 8, 2006– Dashing off the failure of their first nest of 2006, Macomb County's Peregrine falcons surprised observers by delivering a second nest with three new eggs.
The county Information Technology Department immediately re-installed the Web cam that tens of thousands of people enjoyed earlier this spring when the Macomb County Peregrines nested the first time. The Web cam is available at http://www.macombcountymi.gov/peregrine/index.htm. Peregrines are on the Michigan endangered species list and the national list of protected species.
The new nest of Peregrine pair Horus and Hathor was discovered during an inspection of prime nesting spots off the 11th Floor of the Macomb County Building on Wednesday, June 7. The inspection was undertaken after observers spotted some suspicious activity by Horus, the male, and Hathor, the female, over the past two weeks.
Horus would perch on the 11th Floor ledge on the southeast corner of the building while Hathor would land and walk toward the box recessed into the ledge, and then hop in.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources observer Kariann Anderson thought this activity could be a sign of “re-clutching,” when birds make a second attempt at egg fertilization after a first nesting fails.
At Anderson's suggestion, two Macomb County employees went up to the County Building's 11th Floor Wednesday afternoon, June 7, and did a visual inspection of the window boxes at the four corners of the building. Horus and Hathor are fond of the boxes after nesting in the northeast corner in 2005 and the southwest corner this past March.
When the employees quietly entered the padlocked room adjacent to the box on the southeast corner, they saw Hathor incubating a new set of eggs. Hathor stood up and revealed three healthy-looking eggs that seemed larger, darker and more speckled than the four eggs she laid in late March and early April.
“This is a unique situation because birds of any species are often unable to re-clutch after establishing a nest and tending it as long as Horus and Hathor did,” Anderson said. “But they probably waited two weeks after the first nest failed to re-clutch, which is typical, and then egg-laying usually takes a week or so.”
Although the precise date the new nest was established is unknown, Anderson estimates it will be two or three weeks before hatching could occur. The odds of success are lower with a re-clutch, Anderson said, but the timing could be ideal.
“If the eggs hatch, when the chicks are ready to fly about six weeks later and eventually are ready to hunt, it could be the time when their favorite prey passes through the area on their migratory patterns.” Anderson said.
The original eggs began disappearing in late April/early May, just as they were scheduled to hatch. Anderson suspects the birds knew the eggs were not viable and removed them. Still, Hathor tended the last egg until May 11, when the nest was finally abandoned.
Soon after, Anderson retrieved the remaining egg from the first batch so it could be tested. A candle test, when a candle is held on one side of the egg as you look through the shell, revealed only a yolk and no embryo. Anderson said the egg is now undergoing toxicological testing.