Bluetit Diary    May 2020 (3)



Tuesday 5th May, 2020

Today is H for hatch day.  The eggs in both boxes start to hatch!

You can't see all the eggs here because of the feather, but at ten past seven, eight of them are still intact!

However, a few seconds later, Drake brings food for Daisy.

This time he doesn't dash off after passing it to her ...

 ... and significantly, Daisy doesn't eat it herself, but gets off the nest to try to persuade a chick to take it.

The eggs must have started hatching!

Twenty minutes later you can see Daisy with a piece of eggshell in her beak.  Bluetit mums always seem to eat the eggshell of the first few eggs to hatch.  As well as disposing of the shell, this helps her to replace the calcium in her body that was used to create the eggshells.  This clutch of 9 eggs represents a lot of calcium for a small bird to produce. 

So far it looks as though at least 3 eggs have hatched.

Half an hour later, Drake brings some food to the nest box.

It looks as though he has passed some of it to Daisy, but not all.  He still has something green in his beak.

Daisy has got off the nest cup so that Drake can try to feed the chicks.

Hmm!  It looks as though Daisy has eaten her piece of food herself!

Off goes Drake for more ...

 ...while Daisy cuddles down on the chicks.

In Box1, at the start of the day Chloe's eggs are all in one piece.

Back in Box2, another egg has hatched!

It's not clear to me how many chicks have now hatched.

Four hours later there has been no change in Box1.

Ten minutes later this looks like a piece of eggshell that Chloe has in her beak.  Her eggs must have started to hatch too!

Yes, here you can see a single chick has hatched out.

Ten minutes later another egg appears to have hatched, as Chloe has another piece of eggshell in her beak.

Two chicks in Box1!

It always surprises me how quickly the male bluetits cotton on to the fact that their chicks are hatching out. 

Here Chloe is begging for the food that Chris has brought to the nest box.

Four minute later Chris is back with more food.

 ... which Chloe takes and tries to persuade one of the chicks to eat.