Many of you have been watching my live cameras this week, as the jackdaws eggs have started to hatch. I have had cameras on jackdaw nests before, but in the past they have used my larger boxes and always obscured the view with copious amounts of twigs. This nest, in my Squirrel Studio nest box, has a great view and we can clearly see the activity.
The eggs started to hatch on the 5th May. We got our first views of the tiny, pink ‘jelly-bean’ jackdaw as the female left the nest. These parent birds are incredible attentive….
The second chick appeared later the same day, with the female eating some of the egg shell and removing the rest from the nest box…
The third chick started to hatch on the 6th, but was not visible until the 7th, when the female appeared to actually open the egg of the fourth chick. I think it had started to hatch and she would have been able to hear the chick inside. With incredible dexterity and care, she works her way along the crack in the egg, opening the egg so this fourth chick can join her growing clutch. An incredible moment to capture…
There is still one egg remaining. With Jackdaws incubating before they have laid all the eggs, this staggered hatching is normal. It ensures there are bigger, stronger chicks and means that any smaller, weaker ones will only survive if food supplies are plentiful. Within just one day, the size difference between chicks hatched just a day apart was clearly apparent.
The adult birds are incredible tender and attentive toward these tiny new lives. The tiniest morsels are gently fed to the chicks, with the female often lifting their tiny, wobbly heads up, to get those first feeds in… it is fascinating to watch!
Despite my very best efforts, I cannot get the microphone to work inside this nest box. I was really hoping to record the audio, but I have been unable to get this working. I will continue to investigate what the issue is & hopefully we will be able to hear these guys soon as well as watch them. I also have a jackdaw nest at Yew View and that has an HD camera on it, so I have a back up. This set-up, here at home, is using a standard nest box camera, with additional lighting in the nest box that turns off at night.
You can watch this nest box, live, on the front page of my website.