Weight Loss During Incubation

Recently, Robin found an article on weight loss in incubating birds. She sent the information to Bill Heinrich at the Peregrine Fund and here is their discussion. Enjoy.

Hi Bill,
I was reading about the incredible weight loss that takes place in Eagles during brooding.
Each egg is 3.5% of body mass. During egg laying, brooding incubation and nesting, the female looses 14.4% of her body weight. [every two weeks?] If that same % is applied to a female Peregrine weighing approx 2 lbs, she would lose 0.07 lbs / egg. or for this female on Cap One 4 eggs = 0.28 lbs ending up weighing 1.72 lbs or 86% of her pre-egg laying weight.
Comparing that to a 200 lb woman –> a loss of 28 lbs in two weeks. She would weight 172 lbs … a diet I could wish for….. and -28 lbs in another 2 weeks? Down to 144 lbs …. my ideal!
Are the percentages correct? Thanks – it may be interesting to blog this if it is correct…


And then from Bill Heinrich,

… I have not paid any attention to the weight loss in Peregrines as our birds are never handled and weighed. It does seem to make sense and I believe the figures you give are probably pretty accurate. If I hear any more on the matter I will pass it along. I have enjoyed your notes on our Peregrines.


An interesting discussion. Cheers! May 17 – 21: Magic dates?


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