Wednesday, May 03, 2017

What's Next?

Assuming the unhatched egg is the last egg that was laid, we can expect there to be a day or two lag time before it hatches.  In the meantime, all 3 chicks look great!

The adults will brood the chicks to keep them warm.  The male can do this but because of the female's larger size, she is able to perform this task more efficiently.  His primary job will be to hunt and provide food for the nest.  She will sit much higher on the brood then when she was incubating the eggs not only because the chicks are larger than the eggs were (and will be growing VERY quickly) but also because they are a lot more squirmy than the eggs were!  Depending on the weather, brooding is usually done for the first ~10 days.

Unfortunately, without the audio this year we aren't able to hear the vocalizations between the adults and the chicks.  Even though the chicks don't really need to eat at first, the adults will still feed as a way of bonding with the chicks and imprinting them.  When they bring in food, the adults have a chirp they give that, by instinct, causes the chicks to sit up and open their mouths for food (called gaping).  In turn, when the chicks "gape" and chirp, this encourages the adult to present food.  It's a system that works tremendously well in the bird world!