At 25 days old, the chicks continue to make good progress, despite some concerns that one seemed to be lethargic and suffering a lump in the throat. They’ve all three been feeding well today, with another Feral Pigeon brought in by the male.
They are starting to change quickly in appearance as the down is lost and feathers become increasingly visible, especially when a bit of wing stretching takes place, as below.
Over the next week they’ll undergo a transformation and look almost ready to leave the nest. They’re also taking ever more interest in the world beyond the nest platform, spending periods looking out over the edge.
At one point this afternoon the chicks starting to call very loudly, all panning their heads to follow something flying past. Whether this was one of the parents, or a Crow, or some other potential threat (Buzzards and Red Kites were seen over here last spring!) we’ll never know, but they were certainly alert to it. A few people have been concerned that the chicks are being left vulnerable to predation, but one or both adults are almost constantly on the church, even if not in view on the webcam.
A visit for an hour on Bank Holiday Monday morning saw the female on top of the platform and the male on the corner of the church, though neither was visible on the webcam. Needless to say, they gave some great views and photo opportunities.
From below it wasn’t possible to see the chicks at any point, but this will change and they will surely have been visible when on the edge of the platform posing for the photo above.
The similarity in size between the chicks makes it pretty clear that they’re all females, and given their considerable size now the adults have given up any attempt to brood them – they’re almost the size of the male! Instead they huddle together for warmth in the continuing unseasonal weather and often flatten themselves against the floor of the platform if they’re not in the corner trying to keep out of the wind.
This weekend should provide good views from below if the weather makes a visit tempting, and there will be a chance to watch them before and after the talk on Monday evening. Hope a good number of interested folk are able to make that, and a week from now the chicks will be a month old, about the age when the first flights become a possibility.