Bluetit Diary    May 2019 (1)



Wednesday 1st May, 2019

As expected, Ann's eggs have not hatched yet.  I think they will hatch around the 3rd or 4th of May.

The chicks in Box2 are now 4 days old and their bodies still show little sign of the first fine down.  The only obvious change, apart from the fact that they are bigger and hungrier, is that they have grown whiskers on their heads!

Their eyes are still firmly shut. 

Bella and Ben with 8 of their chicks visible.  Bella is at the topof the picture and Ben at the bottom.

Ben and Bella continue to feed their chicks pretty frequently.  It looks as though this is a good year for little green caterpillars which is the chicks main food until they leave the nest.

Bella is busy doing the cleaning, so Ben waits patiently until she has finished.

The female always spends a lot of time keeping the nest as clean as possible.  You can see how such instinctive behaviour has developed - those birds that practiced it must have had a better survival rate!

Bella has finally finished, so Ben is about to get a look-in!

Another picture of both parents.  I think it is Ben feeding the chicks and Bella watching.

Amazingly, this looks like 11 chicks.  It is very unusual not to lose at least one chick in the first few days, especially with such a large brood as this.

Bella with 10 gapes showing.  As presumably, she is also feeding one, that makes 11 again!

This looks like 11 chicks . . .

. . . and this must be 11 chicks.

Clearly, all 11 eggs hatched and have survived the first critical few days.  I mustn't count my chickens, etc but things are going well so far!

A last shot of Bella, or is it Ben, with all 11 chicks gaping for food!
In less than three weeks they will all be the same size as their parents - and mainly  from a diet of little green caterpillars.  Isn't nature wonderful!