Sunday, 19 April 2015

Blackbird Nest Update #3: We have chicks!

Over the past week, I have been noticing the male blackbird taking a more active role in looking after the nest. He has brought food in for the female several times and sat on the nest briefly while she was away. A couple of days ago, I observed the female fly in with a caterpillar in her beak and through binoculars, I watched her peer in to the nest. I didn't see what she did with the caterpillar and assumed she ate it herself. Since seeing that, I noticed she was off the nest far more frequently which suggested to me that the eggs may have hatched.

Yesterday, I took the opportunity while the female was away from the nest area to check on the status of the eggs. As always, I made extra sure that I was in no way disturbing the nest. I was able to confirm by snapping a very quick photo that the eggs had indeed hatched! Judging by the chicks' appearance and lack of downy feathers, I'm estimating that they are only a day or two old.

When the female returned, she again brought food in and this time around I was able to see the chicks poke their heads out of the nest, their mouths open in wide gapes. Although it would be brilliant if all three chicks fledged successfully, I learned recently that the success rate is only around 30-40%. Chances are this female will lay one or two more broods at this site, so I may get to witness the cycle more than once.

No comments:

Post a Comment