Bluetit Diary    May 2020 (14)



Tuesday 19th May, 2020

Today I'm going to try to show some pictures of Scrap, the smallest chick of the brood.

Comparing sizes of the chicks in these photographs is very difficult, as the camera lens is a very wide angle one and that can cause chicks which are further away from the lens to look significantly smaller then those that are nearer.  Here you can see Scrap out of the nest cup and nearer the lens than the chicks inside it.  Even so, it looks much the same size as the other two chicks in the picture, which means that in fact it is much smaller than they are!

Now Scrap has crawled well out of the nest cup.  Perhaps he feels that if he is nearer to where the food comes into the nest box, he will have more chance of getting his fair share.

Here he is buried at the bottom of the nest again.

A parent (I've given up trying to determine which is Chloe and which is Chris by their looks) has brought a large green caterpillar into the nest box.  Such caterpillars are the staple food and drink of the chicks from hatching to fledging.  They get no liquid other than that contained in the food they eat.

In spite of its size, you can see the caterpillar inside the nearest chick's gape.  You'd have thought it would choke on such a mouthful, but it seems to get it down eventually.

This feed is another caterpillar - this time a grey one.  It is just as large, if not larger!

This picture shows Scrap and one of the other chicks side by side outside the nest cup.  It is not just size which differentiates them, Scrap's feathers are very under developed.  Unless they grow a lot in the next few days he won't be able to fly from the nest box.

Another picture showing Scrap next to a normal chick.

Here he has retreated back to the nest cup.