Bluetit Diary    May 2013 (6)



Saturday 11th May 2013

Our ménage à trois seem to have reached an uneasy acceptance of each other.

Sam feeds Sally while Scruff watches.

Our two females incubating side by side. 

It's just as well that they are both there.  I think it would be impossible for one female to cover all the eggs in this nest in order to incubate them properly! 

Another picture of Sally and Scruff incubating the eggs.

My goodness, that's a lot of eggs!

While peace reigns and both females are incubating, there is little to show you.  However, these pictures do give an indication of the remarkable change in attitude of the two females.

Incubation seems to have taken priority over the petty squabbles of a few days ago.

I is now half past seven and there is no sign of the old 'end of the day' bickering that used to occur now.

Now it is half past eight and both our females are tucked up for the night.  They both appear to roost in the nest box over night these days.

There was a short period around 10:46 today when Sam had come to the nest with a mealworm and Scruff was on the eggs by herself.  In order to get the food, she got off the nest and moved around over the eggs to take it.  As she moved, some eggs were uncovered and some were covered.  This image is a composite image made from these shots in order to show all 21 eggs!

If you take incubation, by Sally, as having started on 2nd May, then we can expect the eggs to start hatching any time after 14th May.  However, since Sally was also incubating Scruff's eggs from the time her second egg was laid, I expect that one of Scruff's eggs will hatch out each day from that time.  How the two females will cope with that situation remains to be seen!

Of course, that assumes that Scruff's eggs are fertile!