Thursday, May 01, 2014

Progressing Nicely

Both adults are doing an excellent job of caring for the clutch--Spark is providing food while Durand is doing most of the feeding and brooding.  There are currently still only 3 chicks hatched. While it is possible the 4th egg may still hatch, as more time passes the chances of having 4 chicks does decrease. But, only time will tell and we're certainly not ready to say another hatch won't happen. Stay tuned...

IF the final number of nestlings stays at 3, that's a good number and they will keep the adults busy. Some viewers have expressed concerns about whether or not all of the chicks are getting enough food. When a chick first hatches, while it can eat, it doesn't have to for a minimum of 24 hours because it continues to receive nourishment from the yolk sac. When the adult bird comes in to feed, very small pieces of food are given and not every chick is going to be fed "to capacity" at each feeding. This is one of the reasons they are fed several times a day.

Remember that all 3 of these chicks are different ages.  With different ages come different levels of abilities and development. To us 1 or 2 days doesn't seem like that much time but to a newly hatched chick it's a lot, especially when these birds develop at such the fast rate they do. A chick a few days younger won't be as coordinated and certainly won't have as much stamina to beg for food as its older nest mates.  But it also doesn't need as much food as the ones that are older. As they grow over the next few weeks this difference will become less noticeable.

Typically the hungriest chick will get most of the food. When that chick is satisfied and is resting (or passes out in a "food coma") another chick(s) will get the majority of the food for the remainder of the feeding or be first at the next feeding.  The chicks aren't always all hungry at the same time.
As long as all the chicks have their mouths open, the adult will fill it with food sooner or later!!