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Friday, 6 May 2011

Mother Warmth

10:13 am: the Mom Blue Tit left the nest again a couple of times to feed the 1st hatchling. When she returned the 3rd time the hatchling did not respond to the extended feeding calls so she ate the mini-worm herself. She then sat on the eggs and hatchlings. The Papa Blue Tit came by just seconds after with a worm and chirped to signilise that he was there. The female responded but did not get up. He left, flew to the tree and then after a couple of seconds flew back and again chirped. Again she did not get up. He again flew away and flew back but again she did not get up. He then left. So..., the female knows that she must not get up and let the hatchling cool down too much even if food is awaiting. Fascinating!

10:18 am: After 5 minutes of warming up, the female Blue Tit had just left. I see her flying around in the tree near by looking behind leaves and such..

10:19 am: the male has just fed the female in the tree.

10:20 am: the male flew to the entrance chriped but left. For some reason he does not enter the box. I wonder if the entrance hole is too small.

10:21 am: the female returns, enters. the male returns to entrance hole. The female inside has a small worm in her beak. The male at the entrance a larger worm and calls to her. The female is now torn between feeding the hatchling and taking the worm from the male. He notices that something is amiss and enters. She hesitates and then hatchling lifts its head and opens its beak. The female feeds the hatchling and then takes the larger worm from the male. She eats it herself. He leaves. Somehow the male always pulls on the worms when the female tries to take them from him. This is new of this morning. I wonder if he wants to feed the hatchlings or whether they pull at the worm in the attempt at making it smaller. At any rate, I am impressed as he does not eat the worm himself when he does not manage to give it to the female (even after several attempts).

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