... and settling back down again.
But she will be well. She's done this all before, so successfully. She's being well provided for by the tiercel. She will recover in a week's feeding and rest in the first full week of real incubation. Right now, she's not sitting tightly. She hasn't begun full, coordinated, irrevocable incubation. That will commence with the third egg."
But the formel does get up to stretch and spend some time away from the nest. Sometimes, the eggs are left on their own for several minutes, which is not a problem as they can be left uncovered for up to 20 minutes or more.
The tiercel also loves to take his turn on the eggs.
It can be quite difficult to tell the difference between mom and dad when they are on the nest. Here are pictures of each bird sitting in an almost identical spot on the nest
At night, however, it is the formel who settles onto the nest and stays till dawn.
It perhaps seems unusual that the tiercel is so involved in sitting on the eggs in these early days while we await the arrival of the third egg. Last year, John Blakeman shared some fascinating insight into the psychology of the hawks at this crucial time of egg laying:
But for today, as we wait hopefully for a third egg, both hawks took their turn on the nest. Here's dad...
... and here's mom. Her wings often hang a little lower along her body, revealing that distinctive white line down the middle of her tail, more noticeable than dad's.
Here is a sequence from today of her standing up to stretch a little...
... then preen her feathers.
Suddenly, there was a headless hawk as she reached way underneath herself to start rolling the eggs.
As she rotated the eggs, she moved around them...
... until she had them where she wanted them,
... and then settled back down,
... looking out on the blazing March sun we enjoyed today in Philadelphia.
If all goes to the schedule - as it has for the past three years - the third egg should arrive on Tuesday, sometime in the middle of the day.