The photo to the left is actually an American Kestrel. However, the Brood Patch is visible. The topic today, from the Peregrine Fund web site, is on the incubation of the eggs and the brood patch is an integral part of the incubation. You can find another article on the brood patch on this blog at April 04, 2010 Brood Patch. Here is the article from the Peregrine Fund. Enjoy!
The eggs are now two weeks old. You may notice the adults standing up from time to time to rotate the eggs. This is an important activity, as it prevents the embryo from sticking to the inner membrane. If it is stuck, the chick may not be able to hatch properly and its survival will be jeopardized.
With a body temperature of 104 degrees, the adults are able to keep the eggs nice and warm even on cold spring days. During incubation, a special hot spot called a brood patch develops on the chests of the male and female. This bare patch of skin keeps the eggs in close contact with the parents’ bodies for maximum heating action. The patch stays for up to two weeks after hatching because the new chicks are unable to regulate their own body temperatures for that long, depending on weather. The brood patch fades away as the young grow older and no longer need warmth from their parents.
So there you have some more information. The falcons are doing quite well in this cool Rocky Mountain spring. They don’t seem to mind the amount of rain we have had, too. Late in the afternoon, if you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the falcons flying around town, especially on the clear afternoons. Cheers and Keep Looking Up!