Gazelle has been sticking very close to the nest the past couple days. As in…she’s always on the nest when I take a peek around the rocks. I try not to disturb her as I’m sure keeping eggs warm is serious business. Nobody likes to be bothered at work. Especially this girl. She gets very antsy if I get close to the nest while she’s on it. Which is all the time. All. The. Time. I wonder if birds store up fat for brooding like other animals do for hibernation. She did seem a little, um…fluffy when I took her portraits a couple of days ago. Unless Gazelle has a man bringing her food, I don’t see how she’s getting anything to eat. Poor thing. Growing babies while on a diet? That life is for the birds. Hahahaha!
Gazelle’s insistence on staying plopped on her eggs tells me we’ve entered the incubation phase. Birds incubate their eggs to keep them at the proper temperature to ensure normal development. Birds usually begin incubation after they have finished laying all of their eggs so that they will hatch at approximately the same time. I thought it might be fun to have a little guessing game as to when the first egg will hatch. I’ll even give you some Dark-Eyed Junco incubation facts to help you with your hatching hypothesis.
*Dark-Eyed Junco eggs have an incubation period of 12-13 days
*We spotted the first egg on March 17th
*Gazelle laid her final egg on March 19th
Give it your best guess!
New vocabulary I’ve learned in the past couple days.
Incubation: The process of maintaining uniform heat and humidity of the developing eggs, usually accomplished by one or both parents sitting on the eggs at all times.
Brooding: A pattern of behavior of certain egg-laying animals, especially birds, marked by cessation of egg laying and readiness to sit on and incubate eggs.