Bluetit Diary    May 2020 (12)



Friday 16th May, 2020

All the chicks appear to have survived another night - there are 7 chicks visible here.

A wing-flapping session.  That's early!  You can see that its wings don't have much feather, as opposed to the pins, on them.

How about that for a picture of seven gapes!

The start of another poo removal session.  Frequently, after a chick has swallowed food, it turns round, sticks its bottom in the air, and produces a packet of poo!  At least the poo is produced in discrete amounts, rather than as a general outpouring of yuk!  This means that the parent who brought the food must wait to see whether a fecal sac, as they are more formally called, will be produced.

If it is, all it has to do is collect the sac and remove it from the nest box.  When the chicks are very young, the parent will normally eat it, but this only seems to occur during the first day or so.

Having removed the sac from the chicks bottom, the parent flies off with it, presumably dropping it some way from the nest box.

That, and the cleaning done when the female dives down to collect anything she doesn't like from the bottom of the nest cup, seems to keep everything sweet and healthy!

Some of the caterpillars brought in at this stage of the chicks life, are huge.  You can see Chloe trying to get a chick to take this monster.  It is almost as wide as the chicks gape, so can only be consumed if it is presented carefully aligned!

So far, Chloe hasn't managed to do this.

At last the chick has one end of the caterpillar properly aligned and going down its throat.  I wonder how long it takes a chick to digest such a large food item.