Where are the Chicks?!
Well, part of the nestbox lens got hit with poo, thus the blurry right third of the picture. It is just as well though since the nestbox is empty more now than not because the chicks are mobile and venturing out on the lower part of the ledge.
I've gotten quite a few emails of concern asking if the chicks were "removed" from the box, or folks knowing they are outside and wondering if we "will we put them back in," etc. The chicks are at a normal stage in development where they start exploring their ledge. No one removed them-they are completely able to come and go as they please. And, there is no fear of them falling at this stage!! Looking at the ledge view you will notice that the nestbox sits down in a recessed area of the ledge that is at least 10 inches lower than the upper ledge. Thus, it will be some time before the chicks are physically able to jump up to the upper part of the ledge where they can get close to the edge. Since they are able to walk around, they will be exploring up and down that lower part of the ledge and so will be out of view at times.
On this view from the ledgecam you can see them huddled together, likely napping, just outside of the nestbox:
The camera angles are basically the same as we've had since we first started the cams in the late 1990s and cannot and will not be changed. There is obviously limitations to the view but that is how it has always been. The chicks will be most visible when food is brought and at night when they will likely return to the nestbox to sleep.
I hope to capture an image this week to show how they look at 4 weeks old. Their fluffy white down is starting to be replaced with their brown juvenile feathers. They will really transform quickly over the next 2 weeks.