Sunday, 31 May 2015

Nest box camera update 9 - Getting ready for departure

It is two weeks since the four chicks hatched and they are growing fast.  They have had their eyes open for several days and their calls get louder each day.  In the last couple of days they have developed a two-tone grey and yellow pattern to their feathers. (Some pictures are B&W because the camera reverts to infrared if the light level is low.)



The chicks spend a lot of time preening their new wing feathers and stretching their wings and have just started flying exercises - revving their wings up to full speed - usually while standing on top of their siblings.

video

The mother is a zealous housekeeper and with all her cleaning the nest structure collapsed so the chicks almost disappeared for a while under the nest material.  As they have grown over the last few days they have come back into view.
video

The parents have been working non-stop bringing in a supply of caterpillars.




It is interesting that the mother has chosen not to sleep in with the chicks on the past two nights.  As far as I can remember, she would normally do this only a day or so before the chicks fledge.  However, I don't expect these chicks will be ready to leave until the end of the week.  I'll get up early and see if I can catch the moment.

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