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Blackbirds nesting webcam

UPDATE: The webcam is no longer live because the chicks sucessfully fledged on Saturday - 15 days after the last egg hatched.

There were originally 4 chicks - the last one hatched on Friday. The mother is brownish grey with a brown and yellow beak. She does most of the brooding (keeping the chicks warm). Unfortunately, 2 of the chicks have died, probably because they were not strong enough to demand their fair share of food.

The father is jet black with a pure yellow beak. He visits frequently with food for the brood and occasionally he sits on the nest too if the mother is away.

The parents begin searching for food at about 5AM and keep going until 9PM - that's 16 hours a day feeding their family. Sometimes they will be away from the nest for as little as two minutes - or it can be as long as 10 minutes.

The chicks are always ravenous and have mouths to match their appetite! Watch and you will see their gaping maws! They eat worms, caterpillars, flies, moths and anything else their parents can find.

The result of all this hard work is that the chicks grow very quickly and will be ready to fledge (leave the nest) at about 10 to 14 days old.

As many as 9 out of 10 nesting attempts fail for various reasons including inexperienced parents, shortage of food, bad weather, and predation (often by cats) so be warned, these chicks may not survive to adulthood.

So far however, they seem to be doing well so lets hope they make it.

If you want to read more about Blackbirds and their habits and lifestyles, here is a link to the excellent RSPB Blackbird page.

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