Museum Count: Three Eggs Lost

MM EatingHelen and her unbanded mate at the Field Museum lost another egg today (a grand total now of three). Boooo!! It seems that the ledge is tilted outward, so the eggs roll off shortly after Helen lays them.

While we would love to go fix the problem immediately, as always, challenges exist. I am not going to go into specifics, but I can say that putting nest boxes on buildings, especially historic sorts of buildings, isn’t an easy process. It requires a lot of planning and discussion with many folks. As well, as Mary has pointed out time and again – putting a nest box up does not, in any way, insure the birds will use it. There are several sites where nest boxes were installed DIRECTLY on the exact spot the peregrines tried to nest during the season and the following season, Mary and company would find the birds sitting at the opposite end of the building from the box.

There are some buildings that have multiple boxes the birds don’t use.

So, even though it is hard to watch Helen lay eggs, only to have them shatter on the ground below, we have to have patience and continue to work towards a remedy for the situation most likely for next year.

While we can’t make guarantees Helen and her mate will return to the museum next year, we can say that there is a high likelihood they will. They have come to us two years in a row, this year managing to lay a number eggs. Something about the building and location appeals to this pair, so with any hope, we’ll have a safe nesting option for them in the future.

Whether they use it? Well, that’s up to Helen and her mate.

For now, they continue to inhabit the corner of the building. Helen seems to stick close to home while Mr. Museum goes off to hunt. On Wednesday evening this past week (the 9th), I watched Mr. M bring a snipe to the nest! Pretty interesting, that.

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~ by Steph on April 12, 2008.