Blackbirds usually lay around 4-5 eggs. These are incubated by the female for around 14 days and the young fledge and leave the nest after a further 14 days. Blackbirds can have a good 3-4 and sometimes 5 broods if conditions are good and the female is fit enough. Accidents do of course happen, but it is worth bearing in mind that sometimes adults will remove weak or dead birds from a nest, as barbaric as this may sound, this is perfectly normal. I do hope it all goes well.
I have two dogs, both of which ignore the birds completely, but probably because of them I also don't get blackbirds nesting in my garden. They use next door and then come to me for food!
I hope all goes well with your chicks.
So only two days after my first post, a chick is out of the nest again. It is looking much further developed and I don't know if it is the same chick or not. However, it seems this is what blackbirds do; the chicks can leave the nest very early and spend the nexts few days hiding under shrubs and undergrowth being fed by the parents.
I still think it was too immature to have survived first time, especially with the bad weather. Now there is no exposed skin and it is a bit larger. The flight feathers are mainly still just spines. It is quite adventurous and not nearly wary enough. I found it asleep on the lawn earlier this morning and have since seen it crossing the lawn from one hiding place to another. It's very exposed at times and it seems to be a very high risk strategy. But it clearly works for the species and probably explains why we are not up to our necks in blackbirds.
The parents are still visiting other chicks in the nest, but I have seen the father looking around under the Firethorn and seeming quite agitated. The chick is about 20 metres away but it does keep calling so hopefully it is getting fed.
It's all very fascinating to watch nature in action.
This is good news!
Blackbird fledglings can't fly for quite a while after leaving the nest. This is why they skulk about in the undergrowth and is quite normal. Their flight feathers develop gradually during this time, and they are very vulnerable to predation, mainly by cats I'm afraid. Dad will keep guard and if there is danger you will hear him calling very loudly.