Bluetit Diary 2011 -  May (15)

Saturday 21st May, 2011 (cont)

It is now 8am and so far just two chicks have flown from the nest box.

As we are now up and around, the mealworm feeders have been refilled!  Here is Joy offering a mealworm to the chicks.
This looks serious!
Gone.  Now there are seven left inside the box.

(The chick on the left is another one and is on the floor of the nest.)

Fifteen seconds later, the next chick is on its way.
Yes!

That's as bold a launch as I have seen!  Now six chicks to go.

Now another chick looks out of the box.
Nearly!
Will he go now?
Gone!  Half the chicks have now fledged.
The remaining chicks seem scared by the prospect of leaving the nest box.  They all try to hide under the other chicks which results in a writhing mass of chicks, all trying to be at the bottom of the pile!
One of the problems is that when the chicks hatch out over several days, as these did, the first to hatch are going to be ready to fledge much earlier than the last one will be.  The chick stretching its wings in this image could clearly do with more time before it will be able to fly properly!
After a quarter of an hour, all five remaining chicks look content to stay in the box.
Three quarters of an hour pass before the next chick goes.  Here it is making a bold leap into the unknown.

Now there are just four to go.

Over an hour passes before the next chick thinks about going.
It was just my luck that at just this time my computer suffered a temporary glitch and I had to reboot.  By the time I had got things going again, the seventh chick had flown.  Although you may not be able to see it, there are still three chicks in the box ...
... as you can see here!

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