PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – A 16-year-old peregrine falcon who nests on the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning has laid a third egg.
“It is unusual. She’s been a very productive female; she’s had many eggs and many successful fledglings,” said Robert Mulvihill, an ornithologist at the National Aviary. “I believe more than 40 of her offspring have successfully fledged from the Cathedral of Learning.”
Bird watcher and blogger Kate St. John tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the bird, named Dorothy, isn’t continually incubating – or sitting on – the two eggs she’s laid to keep them warm.
That suggests she may have an egg or eggs still inside her that she’s unable to pass. That condition, known as being egg-bound, could be life-threatening.
“There’s a condition in birds called egg-binding and that is an inability for a female to pass an egg through the ovaduct and successfully lay it,” Mulvihill said.
The bird is already mother to 42 other birds and her advanced age leaves doubts that the eggs she’s laid so far this spring may not be viable.
That won’t be known for about 32 days after the eggs hatch following incubation.
“I have found no documentation of a female nesting successfully at 16 years of age, so I think she will be not just one for the record books, but probably one to be documented in scientific literature about peregrine falcons,” said Mulvihill.
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