Two days after the last egg hatched, the chicks are still very small. Their eyes are still closed. They still only respond to their parents chirps. They are not aware of their presence otherwise.
The female wriggles in the nest box a lot when she is sitting on the chicks, moving the chicks and pecking the bottom of the nest box at times. My friend Rachel came to visit and she was also intrigued by this behaviour. After some research she told me that this is to check that all of the chicks are still alive and healthy.
8 eggs hatched in total. I try and keep my eye on the chicks as much as possible, but obviously when I am at work this can mean I miss a lot of the action.
As soon as I get home I am like mother hen! ‘Oh my gosh are all the chicks there? Is that chick getting enough food? Is that caterpillar too big for that chick?!’
Unfortunately, on this particular day I had only been able to count 7 chicks. I have come to the conclusion that the runt of the litter didn’t make it. It is quite difficult to sit back, watch and just let nature take its course.