|Finally it was time for the next generation. I had succeeded in fertilising a number of Maria’s eggs but for some unexplained reason they all seemed to fail at the same point in development.
Then one year a single fertile egg from a clutch of four eggs developed to full term. At the point of the embryo breaking through into the air sac I decided to drill a small hole adjacent, just in case the embryo tired and had difficulty in breaking through the shell, at least it would not use up its air supply.
This was a strong one and it punched a hole through the shell but the watching was as much a wonderful experience as it was agonising. In total it took sixty two hours before it was free of the shell and I breathed a small breath of relief.
Even though we had taken a great leap forward in this hatching we still had a lot of hurdles to jump before I could call it successful.