15 December 2022
Twenty-five days old
When I looked over the wall to check on the nest at 12:30 today, I was greeted with a barrage of rapid-fire bill-clicks from the chick. It was standing upright, and also gave me a spread-wing threat display – so it’s’ behavioural development seems to be going fairly well. Its’ size and plumage-development however both seem significantly slower than usual.
For the third day, there were no signs of food in the nest and although I’ve been supplementing the food supply with regular ‘donations’ of dead mice, the male is obviously not supplying enough food. I put three mice into the nest, and ten minutes later I could see the female feeding the chick in the nest – so all good for now.
After my last post, when I described the successful feeding of the remaining fledgeling on Monday, it has again disappeared. I’m hoping that this means that it has been able to catch its’ own food for the last few days. It could also be that the male is still feeding this youngster – which could explain the erratic delivery of prey to the new youngster in the nest.
The strange behaviour of the female in laying another clutch right after the first brood of two chicks had fledged is having a negative impact on both young birds. Talk about a dysfunctional family!
By Geoff Lockwood