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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Artificial incubation leads to high hatching success in peregrine falcons Falco peregrinus in a breeding centre in Colorado, USA.

Published source details

Burnham W. (1983) Artificial incubation of falcon eggs. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 47, 158-168


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Artificially incubate and hand-rear raptors in captivity Bird Conservation

A replicated study in a breeding facility in Colorado, USA (Burnham 1983), found that for peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus, artificial incubation led to the hatching of 83% of approximately 300 captive-laid eggs and over 90% of 100 wild-obtained eggs incubated between 1978 and 1980. Eggs were incubated at between 37.2oC and 37.8oC and 60% humidity and were turned every 30 minutes. Eggs were ‘treated individually’, with weight loss being calculated and, if losing weight too rapidly, eggs were partially coated with paraffin. If losing weight slower than expected, shells were sanded very carefully above the air cell. Hatching success was approximately 20% higher if eggs received five days of natural incubation before being placed in incubators. Symptoms of low incubation temperatures (physical deformities and abnormalities) were found if eggs were incubated at below 37oC.