Hi all, new to site.
We have had a pair of blackbirds building a nest for around 3 weeks now in a small conifer. This is just under a fence and ideal for cats to plan an attack as the fence forms a corner on which they can sit.
Anyway, we noticed two eggs in the nest yesterday, but no blackbird. However the hen was sitting on the nest last night only to disappear this morning. It was again sitting on the nest this afternoon. I have now seen a third egg. I always keep a safe distance!
What I am concerned about is the length of time it seems to leave the eggs unattended. How long can they survive, especially as it is still fairly cold here in south Northumberland?
Hi Phil welcome to the forum from Sheffield.
I think she will plan to sit and incubate properly once she has laid all her eggs..i think they time it so they all hatch around the same time.
edit ..cross post with CJ
My photos are on Flickr and Website
Fear not - your Blackbird will lay all of her eggs (usually one each morning) before starting to incubate them and that way they will all hatch around the same time. As for the cat problem all you can do is to be as vigilant as possible. Good luck!
The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way - William Blake
There are two words to describe the way birds lay their eggs. One like the blackbird lays all the eggs before starting incubation while others start incubation as soon as the first egg is laid. The problem with the latter behaviour is that there is a size difference between the chicks.
I can never remember what the two words are.
ChloeB and Tiger's data site ? Link to the Important Loch Garten Links
Hatching synchrony and asynchrony Tiger?
Index to Important Threads
ChloeB & Tiger's Osprey Data Site
Not looking good I'm afraid. The hen has been spending most of her time sitting on the eggs and all looked well last night. However this morning there was a dead chick on the ground with it's head ripped off. There are now two eggs instead of four and we are suspecting that the nest has been abandoned although the hen was there briefly. I put some flimsy chicken wire up around the fence which stands in the same corner as the conifer. It was to stop cats sitting there when we discovered the nest. This was partly flattened, but I don't see how a cat could have got in to the nest without any other damage.
Hi Ped and welcome to the forum,
When you say a dead chick, do you mean a fledged chick with all its feathers, or a tiny one that was taken from the nest?
Blackbirds do make their nests in vulnerable places for some reason, They have to be low down because the fledglings can't fly for quite a while after leaving the nest. They have to hop out and down, and then try to stay hidden until their flight feathers develop - the parents will continue to feed them whilst they are on the ground.
See my photos on Flickr