Of all of the 58 nests in Princeville, approximately 39% do not have a male. 56 of the nests are two females, and in one case, each of two female partners decided to build her own nest and lay an egg, then incubate her own egg. One of those females abandoned her nest and is currently sitting on her partner’s egg.
Most of the female/female nests do not result in a chick. They often each lay an egg, and usually the egg they incubate is not viable, unless one of them has mated with a male and that egg happens to be the one they choose to incubate. However, we have one fascinating couple, Kp507 and KP468, who have raised 5 chicks starting with the 2006-2007 season. Each time, KP507 took the first incubation shift. And now she is sitting on their sixth chick.
The chick was dry, so he’s was not brand new, but his uncoordinated movements resulting in complete exhaustion indicate that he was very young when I filmed him. Mom just wanted to sit on him, and he was not objecting to that protection.
KP468 left a hard egg, and will now come back to a soft chick.
Not a bad swap.