In the last post about Nest 3 (16 June) we included an image of a very underdeveloped chick 3. There’d been a gap in recordings and with only 3 hours of recording a day – at best – it isn’t possible to be certain why there is such a difference in growth rate between the chicks. The poor weather until last weekend is almost certainly a factor. Also, this is the first year that the adults have had 3 chicks to raise. Usually, their chicks are fairly equal in size by 3 weeks old, but that is not the case this year.
We’ve been able to retrieve some clips from 11 and 12 June. They show chick 3 had started to lag a little behind chick 2 – although it is 2 full days younger, so would be smaller. Chick 1 is very obviously the first hatch.
By the next morning, chick 3, although begging quite strongly, appeared to be falling further behind. But it was still a couple of days short of reaching the ‘reptilian’ stage, so the difference in development between the chicks is exaggerated. Press HD on all clips for best quality.
Regular recording resumed on 18 June, when chick 3 had acquired its dark down and pin feathers.
The following day, chick 3 was first to shuffle across when a fish appeared.
It held its own next to chick 1 – sometimes it stays at the rear of the siblings – and was eating well when the recording period ended.
Chick 3 is lively when the weather isn’t so hot that all the chicks tend to flop.
Yesterday lunchtime chick 3 had a fairly empty crop – the usual sight. It was more interested in food than the rather large chick 1 at the rear and chick 2.
Let’s hope the next downloads show a balloon-like crop on chick 3 in some of the footage.