Pair #5 Jan 2012 Clutch Updates
This is a Red-Factor pair. The female has several red feathers on her chest and legs and the male has a splash of red feathers on its back. They have laid their first egg today on Jan 19, 2012. I am very eager to see if their chicks will show any red feathers. However, I am not getting my hopes up as the males is a young bird. Possibly only 4 years old. It is not very likely that the eggs are fertile. I will know for sure in about 2 weeks.
Jan 21, 2012
There are now two eggs. The hen has started incubation. The pair spends the night inside the box. The nest box does not have provision for a camera. It is a new box that I purchased a few months back but go lazy about providing a hole for a camera. This means physical nest box inspections throughout the incubation period.
Jan 24, 2012
Still two eggs. I think this will be the clutch size. The eggs are not showing fertile yet. I will check them again in a few days.
Both eggs are still showing clear and are hence infertile. I have left the eggs with the pair and will allow them to sit through the incubation period. The male is still quite young and fertile eggs are probably at least one year away. Removing the eggs will only encourage further laying which will deplete the hen. The male is trying to act all grown up and doing his best in caring for the nest and the hen. This remains the most promising pair in my quest for red-factor birds.
Apr 11, 2012
I have today discovered a clutch of 3 eggs in the nest box. The male is still young. Eggs are not expected to be fertile.
Apr 27, 2012
Eggs were candled today and all three are clear. I have left them in the box so that they can get some satisfaction from incubating to full term. At least another year is needed to get fertile eggs from this pair. On a positive note, the pair does seem to care for the eggs well.
Oct 15, 2012
Two more clutches of 3 eggs each have been laid. One in July and one in September. All eggs were infertile. Both times I allowed the birds to incubate for the full term to discourage laying of more eggs. They have now laid 11 infertile eggs this year. I have now removed the box to discourage further laying. The box will be refitted in the second half of 2013.