THE BABY BLUES: The eggs are hatching! 15th May 2014

Thursday afternoon I arrived home from work. As always, I turned on my TV to see what was happening in the blue tit nest. The female was sitting on the eggs. She has rarely been leaving the nest since laying the eggs. The male has been regularly visiting her in the nest with food.

So, as it was a sunny day I decided to take a walk along the road by my flat where I saw goldfinches, chaffinches and swallows on the edge of the farmers fields. And I said ‘hello’ to the friendly horse who lives in the field by my flat. He was a bit disappointed I didn’t have any treats for him.

Returning back to my flat, I started to cook my tea. I turned the TV back on and again, the blue tit was sitting on the nest. But then, as she wriggled, I noticed something very pink in the nest! It was a chick! A few minutes later, the female left the nest and I could see quite clearly that three baby blue tit chicks had hatched!

Three blue tits have hatched.
Three blue tits have hatched.

Of course I had to film the action. The little blue tit chicks were rolling around the nest and toppling over each other. They were far too cute not to film. But as I looked back on the videos, I realised I had captured something amazing which I hadn’t noticed during filming. I had managed to film one blue tit breaking out of the egg with his egg tooth.

Keep your eye on the egg on the bottom left hand side. You will see a beak crack out of the egg…

In this next video you can see the egg crack completely…

I was so excited that I was able to capture this footage. Absolutely amazing!

Facts about Hatching:

1. Once the embryo grows and fills the egg, it positions itself so that its head is next to the air space in the egg.

2. It pokes its beak through the membranes into the air space. Now the chick can breathe with its lungs.

3. The remains of the egg is consumed by the embryo.

4. The embryo uses an “egg tooth,” which is a temporary structure on the top of their beak, to cut through the shell.

5. The embryo rubs its egg tooth against the shell to cut a small hole in the shell. The egg shell is thin and weak because the embryo has been absorbing calcium from it.

6. The embryo then rotates its body gradually cutting a circular ring around the middle of the shell.

7. When the cut is complete, the embryo uses its head and shoulders to push against the large end of the shell, and its legs and feet to push against the smaller part of the shell. This forces the two halves apart.

This next video shows the blue tit chick trying his best to get out of the egg…

The female then came into the nest box and ate the egg shell…

Why does the female eat the shell?

It could be to regain minerals that her body gave up when producing the eggs.

By the end of the day, four blue tit eggs had hatched…

IMG_7662

I was so excited! I really wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to focus and concentrate at work the nest day! I mean, next!

 

 

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