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Saturday, 23 May 2015

Life outside of the eggshells has begun...

The eggs have hatched!

This morning I peeked at the video and noticed the female leaving. Shortly afterwards the male came in with a tiny tiny worm in its beak.

How did I figure out it was the male? Because he behaved like all males when the eggs have just hatched and they have to interact with the hatchlings for the first time. It is really amazing and amusing. The behavioral change of the males over the first few days after hatching is truly fascinating.

Generally, early after hatching, the female spends most of the day warming the small hatchlings (they have no way of controlling their temperature and keeping warm), so when the male comes in, he gives her the food he has brought in for the hatchlings and she then proceeds to feed them.
So, when, for the first time the male comes in and there is no female, the male is taken aback and looks like he does not quite know what to do. After a few seconds of hesitation and puzzlement, he approaches the nest and feeds the hatchlings himself.

Gradually the male gets used to interacting with the hatchlings himself: calls to them to let them know that he is there with food and up pop the big heads with beaks wide open.

And after he has done this a couple of times he is then reluctant to give the food to the female and wants to feed the hatchlings himself. This is what I have observed in the last couple of years.

And it fascinates me every time.

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