It is now 30 days since the first egg was laid and 25 days since the second was laid. So when will the eggs hatch? If we’ve heard it once we’ve heard it a hundred times. The simple answer – your guess is as good as ours.
Let’s have a look at some facts. On average Mrs G incubates her first egg for 37 days before it hatches. Brilliant! June 24th it is then. Unfortunately it isn’t quite as simple as that. We can all agree this year isn’t ‘average’. We have seen 7 eggs laid altogether. What we have now is a second clutch. What do we know about that then? Very little it turns out.
Rewind to 2007 at Loch Garten. EJ had laid seven eggs (sound familiar) and ended up incubating three. The first egg hatched after 34 days, the second after 33, and the third died attempting to hatch after 35 days. Unfortunately, chicks 1 and 2 died within 48 hours of hatching.
25 years prior to that a second clutch of two was laid somewhere in Scotland after an egg thief (insert your own obscenity) took the first three eggs. What happened? We don’t actually know.
Apart from Rutland Site B this year that’s it! Second clutches must occur more often than we know – there are plenty of nests that can’t be monitored like ours. But we can only go on what we know (which is not a lot).
Of course, that’s all without mentioning an egg being un-incubated for 12 hours.
Ladies and gentlemen, these are uncharted waters.
Editor – My money’s still on the 23rd of June. Any takers?