Saturday, February 25, 2012
Argh! No hatch yet!
Every night for the past several nights cats and raccoons have been climbing on the side of the cage, trying to get in. They can't get in between the screen on the outside of the cage and the chain link and wooden slats on the inside of the cage. But it still bothers Rusty and Iris, and eventually it's going to damage the screen on the outside of the cage.
I announced my idea to Hein when I walked in the door and he was game. He set to work rounding up the hammer, punch, screws and drill, then pulled out an extra piece of 10' long 2' wide steel siding from the shed. I stuck a camera in my pocket, assuming Iris would flush from the nest when we did this, so we could solve the mystery of what's in the nest right now.
Rusty flew to the other cage right away, but Iris sat tight! Even when we were banging loudly, punching holes in the steel for the screws to go in. We worked as quickly as we could, so I don't think we were out there more than five minutes. But just at the end I saw her fly into the flight cage.
I quickly handed off the tools to Hein, turned out the camera, and scurried up the exterior ladder that leads to the little door right behind the nest. I didn't know what I was going to see.
I was quite surprised to see two perfect eggs, slightly stained, lying side by side. Neither showed any signs of hatching. They just sat there looking perfect. I quickly snapped one photo, locked the door, and scooted down the ladder so we could get away from the cage as soon as possible.
So now the question becomes are the eggs fertile? Will they hatch? When will they hatch? Only time will tell. You'd think with all that copulation (5-10 times a night for 6 weeks) and Iris' diligent incubation that they would be fine and dandy. Let's all think positive and try to be patient.
I posted the full size image of the eggs here so you can click on it to enlarge it for more detail.