Pair #4 Dec 2011 Clutch Updates

Dec 21, 2011
There are a total of 2 eggs. laid on the 8th and 12th Dec. I have not checked the box since the 12th. There is provision for camera installation in the box but it is not installed. It will only take a minute to do it but I don't want to upset the pair as they are not accustomed to it. The birds may see it as a foreign object sitting on their heads and might abandon the eggs for a few hours or completely. In this cold weather, if the eggs are chilled it would be lethal for the embryo. Once (and IF) the chicks hatch out, I will install the camera to ensure they are being taken care of properly.
I usually install the camera when I am expecting the pair to lay. I thought Pair 2 was closer to laying but Pair 4 beat them to it. When I checked the box on the 12th I also candled the eggs. I think the first egg was showing a vein and might be fertile or may be it was just wishful thinking. I will check the box again on Sunday and candle the eggs if they let me.

Dec 25, 2011
Candled the eggs. Both Eggs are fertile and developing normally. 
The first one is due around Jan 5,2011 No more inspections till then.

Jan 5, 2012
The first egg should be hatching soon. Checked the eggs in the morning. No Chicks. Candled the eggs. Egg one is showing internal pip, the other is still few days from hatching but showing normal development.

Jan 6, 2012
Checked the box again. First chick has hatched. The 2nd egg was laid 3 days after the first still being incubated.

Jan 7, 2012
Decided not to check the box today. Although the birds do behave themselves and move aside during checking, they growl and appear nervous. I will not stress them today as the 2nd egg is not yet due.

Jan 8, 2012
I have decided to install the camera in the box today. Since it is Sunday, I can observe the birds and see if the camera is disturbing them. If so I will remove it. Unplugged the hole in the nest box and inserted the camera. It took less than 15 secs to fit. Some growling from inside the box. Immediately ran inside to observe their reaction. They are OK, don't seem to care at all. GREAT. Makes life less stressful for everybody. The chick looks OK. The male is feeding the hen and the chick is also being fed. The 2nd egg has still not hatched. The hen is incubating well, therefore it is difficult to see the chick. Have to wait patiently to catch a glimpse when she moves to turn the egg or feed the chick. I have captures some video clips. Gave the pair egg food and soaked chick peas.

Jan 9, 2012
The pair likes the soaked chick peas. All of it is gone. It's a good sign. Not too much time before I leave for office. Having breakfast as I watch the birds on the screen. The 2nd egg was due today. It is hard to tell if it has hatched. The birds are covering their prize quite well. I can see a empty egg shell. Is it from the first egg or the 2nd? I think I saw 2 chicks. My son claims he saw 2 empty egg shells when the bird moved. I think the 2nd egg has hatched. Not completely sure. Will confirm in the evening.

Jan 10, 2012
Confirmed. The second chick has hatched.
The hen still stays inside the box and keeps the chicks warm. Male is feeding the hen and they both feed the chicks. Chicks are fed lying on their backs. Here is a video of the chicks being fed.

Jan 16,2012
The chicks have moved out of the camera range. I can only see the tail of the hen when she feeds the chicks. The camera is installed on top of the toe section of a boot box. This is where the birds usually lay. The camera fits into the hole in the box. When the camera is removed the hole is plugged with a wooden cork.

Physically inspected the box and the chicks are doing well. I am also giving the parents boiled egg along with the soaked chick peas.

Jan 19, 2012
Checked the box this morning and both chicks are doing fine. . The parents are wiping out the soaked chickpeas in a couple of hours but not touching the egg food at all. I tried mixing in sunflower seeds and chickpeas but they still refuse. I will continue to offer in case they change their mind as the chicks get more demanding. I am planning to pull the chicks on Sunday Jan 22, 2012.

Jan 22, 2012
Pulled both chicks at 10:30 am. As I opened the box, both parents growled at me and positioned themselves on either side of the chicks. As I reached in, the growling intensified and the mother attacked my hand. She dug her beak in the back of my hand and bit hard. Although it was very painful, I knew that pulling my hand back was not an option. The birds were already in panic and the chicks were in danger of being trampled upon. I got hold of both the chicks with the same hand and started pulling my hand out. The mother briefly let go of my hand only to dig in again. Being careful not to drop the chicks I lifted the chicks out of the box. Both chicks looked healthy. One still had its eyes closed. Here are the chicks and here is my hand.

To follow the hand raising of these chicks please read my next blog post.


  1. Using a glove would have been a better option

    if she had gotten hold of your finger then the results would have been terrible

  2. Congratulations Saud.
    I am sure this is one bite you must have enjoyed the most ;)
    Between who would be feeding these babies now?


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