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April -3- 2010

April 20th

Sun again, all blue, 11 - 17 °C


Calm days.
The days of incubation succeed.

Him, begins to sing a little.
Her, leaves a little more often nest in the morning.

But incubates all the afternoon, alternating upturning of the eggs and rest.


Come on! Give!

One of the few feedings on the balcony that was not hidden be the leaves.

April 21th

Sun again, all blue, 11 - 15 °C.


..The days of incubation succeed and resemble.
He always comes too rarely in the box.
She comes out to meet him at his call...
or even without. Even when we don't hear his call, she knows he's there.

.In the menu always these little pale green spiders.

He just arrived with his meal. He calls, she doesn't move. He comes to the entrance of the nest box and proposes his meal, still nothing!

Satiated? He insists; no, not even hungry? Just a little spider is too much?

Piqued, disappointed, he settled on a branch and enjoyed his own hunt!
All the better if she is satiated, but it is a strange attitude.


One minute in the nest box:   Watch VIDEO   (764ko, 1mn 13s)

.Finally these damsels emerged!
Here are the Common Winter Damselfly, [Sympecma fusca] (brunettes hivernales., lestes bruns).

They went near the water to mate and spawn a new generation.

They spent the winter hidden away, far from water. Last days were a little warmer and they begin to arrive. They are still rare.

They are more than two weeks late compared to last year.


At this time of year, this very discreet little dragonfly has the back of the eyes of very pretty blue.

Joint us at  DRAGONFLIES


April 22th

Veiled sun, 10-15 °C.

.She broods.

                          She eats

.This appetizing prey hunted on the balcony will be, as yesterday, eaten by him. Unable to determine the insect.

His belle seems to have refused. Why? So he didn't enter. He who takes so much trouble!

When she refuses there is more chance for the photo because it remains long time proposing his meal. Then he perches a little farther, looking puzzled, waiting for her to change her mind.


This is not always the case. Here he was immediately welcomed.

The squirrel and the magnolia.

.What's more tempting than a magnolia blossom?

It is also necessary to reach it. But when one is a squirrel ...

Once well hooked and delicately removed the petals, just lick the sweet nectar of the flower. A delight!



After the feast, a little rest in the shade.

The doings of this little red squirrel was amusing because he wilfully detached petals of the flower, letting them fall one after another, until the floral receptacle was naked, and he had access probably to the sweet nectar at the base of the stamens.

April 23th

Beautiful day, 11-18°C.

.Brood, brood...

De 7h à 17h30, elle a effectué 39 sorties, ce qui doit correspondre à 39 nourrissages.
Et deux nourrissages dans le nichoir.

A peine a-t-on le temps de le voir, il arrive, il freine, il dépose son repas en même temps qu'il est déjà en train de se retourner pour partir. Un arrêt au stand quoi!


Again another little feather One more fresh small feather.

April 24th

Full sun, 24 °C.

Yesterday, a swift (we don't have swallows our neighbourhood, only swifts...)! They are on time: same day as last year.


Nice arrangement!
We enjoy.
They should not be long to hatch (for the  26th?).

.Still a little green leaf.

I do not know what it is, there is plant of this kind on the balcony.

I also saw the great tits pull out leaves of the birch. For their nest?

She spends a lot of time to arrange her eggs.

The egg roll under her. (The video can be a bit long to load).

Wtach VIDEO   (1754ko, 3mn)

Watch VIDEO   (566ko, 37s)

..She now spend moments looking at her eggs, lengthily.

Or maybe already listening to them?

In any case, her attitude is different today.

April 25th

Some clouds this morning then sunny. Very mild, 19 °C - 21 °C.


Another brooding day. She leaves the nest more often and absented even for some length today. She arranges and positions her eggs again and again without respite.



He comes regularly to feed her.
Generally she joins him.

But, to my despair, they use to meet in places that are inaccessible to pictures!

The leaves have well grown and the meal is eaten so quickly that the images are rare.


April 26th

Some clouds, 13°C.

Still brooding, often goes out, many feedings in the morning.

Watch VIDEO   (202ko, 18s)

Watch VIDEO   (468ko, 27s)



Another of these small spiders, I haven't still seen any caterpillars but they are so difficult to see when feeding (this is the case here with this beautiful leave in front of her!) This does not mean that he doesn't bring any.

Quick summary of previous nesting:

2010 broods since mid-day: April 15 broods all day: April 16                        then 27?
2008 broods since mid-day: April 23 broods all day: April 24 outbreak May 5 12th day since the day it hatches.
2007 broods since mid-day: April 14 broods all day: April 16 April 28 Day 13 outbreak.
2006 broods since mid-day: April 21 broods all day: 24 or 23 April 25 May 7 hatched 13 or day 14 (lack of details for this first year).

April 27th

Sun, 12°C-20°C

She still broods. Hey No, not today...

.He just landed, proud of its caterpillar, fluttering his lowered wings as a chick.
She comes to see.



Come on! Give!


But... let it go!

April 28th

Beautiful summer day, 18 °C -25 °C.

No, they are not still born and here is one that seems to get impatient.

This morning.

.No it is not her but him at the entrance with a beautiful green caterpillar.

She went out to meet him but for the first time he ignored her and passed at her side without a  look and went straight to the nest box.

.Hey I'm here! You saw me, isn't?


I would like to take a quick glance at this nest. While she eats, maybe?

He begins to have the curiosity, and perhaps also to be a little impatient...


Still him!

.Fourth passage! A beautiful spider.

You give it to me, eh?



Good then? It comes?

Well, no! He will refuse it, drawing back when she advances to try to take it.

Then he flies away and returns to the nest box entrance.e.

.A beautiful prey like that!
Always nobody there?

Not easy to see in this birdhouse.


.I'd really to look anyway, so bad if she protests, I'm going! I must see by myself.

He is impatient, like us. It is perhaps also a little disappointed.

     Watch VIDEO   (518ko, 35s)


She followed him and took the prey. There follows some discussion... of which I have no translation.
She will check that nothing was disturbed in her nest.


A little later, here he is back with a new spider.
He will go directly into the nest box.


Watch VIDEO   (196ko, 13s)

get out with his spider and eat it himself.

Maybe she did not want it?

But seen her open so the beak it is not certain...

It is 6:45 p.m., she still broods, he just arrived with a meal and they went together like every night before she goes to bed. 19h, here she is back, he stays a bit, then goes away.

Until tomorrow...

April 29th

A little hazy, hot, 26 °C.


16h and they are four!

Uh! As I write, 4:38 p.m. and they are five!


The videos presented here are in IR, definitely I would have preferred colour but the pointing of the colour webcam is very bad and you lose a lot of visibility to what is happening. I preferred to have the version of the IR camera, because the latter is well pointed. I did not want to intervene to reorient the colour camera, nesting was begun, the panel "do not disturb" was displayed.

.Yesterday evening, 9:42, a small white piece in her beak attracts attention. She eats a shell.

The first hatching starts.

.But this first egg has a problem, I do not know which, and it will not be viable. At noon she'll get it out.

3:30 am. That number two hatched.
As usual, first thing, she eats the shell. She so replenish its calcium reserves. Well this was her intention at start, but darn, at 3 am! Don't feel like eating it. She prefers to sleep.
It is lucky that she so takes and eats the shells, as this allows identifying hatchings more easily, not always easy to do on the night recordings that are rather long to explore.

Watch VIDEO   (1842ko, 3mns 38s)


6:17, number three appears.
Watch VIDEO   (2498ko, 5mns 48s)

They won't be lost, the shells of number two, here they are. It is still dark but no problems, she finds them. And she will put the number three shells aside and then eat number two's and still have a little room for three's.
The end of the video has a little colour even in IR, we put artificial lighting.

11:03, it is the turn of number four.
She pierces the shell, when she notices that the chick begins to break it. It splits the shell into small pieces. See the video of number five that is very explicit, we see the egg open gradually.

Watch VIDEO   (2966ko, 5mns 04s)


14:37 for number five.

Follow the little black dot on the rightmost egg shell!
And... good cutting!

Watch VIDEO   (6204ko, 8mns 04s)

The video is perhaps a little bit long but I barely cut it, I think it shows well how she proceeds.

In past years clutches, the chicks came out alone at the beginning and the mother did not intervene so quickly. Here mom immediately tackles the shell and cuts it around like "along the dotted line"!

It's pretty disquieting; you want to say "Fragile. Handle with care"

As for the shell, when it sticks to the beak, it is not simple, it's irritating!

Note that this cutting has not occurred at night at 3 o'clock, when the chick was left alone by his own means.

And last news, 4:38 p.m. for number six! I keep it for tomorrow, may be accompanied by his last three siblings.

Multiple activities today. I lack a little (lot) of time for a more detailed and proper presentation today.

So just a little feeding.
Parents choose very small prey, but they are still very large for those small beaks.
Then they must be cut and be the best method is to work in pairs, one holding and the other pulls!
It's dad who arrives first and offers the meal, then he's joined by mom and they feed the chicks together.

Watch VIDEO   (976ko, 8mns 48s)

Whether is warm, meals are very numerous, rich, mainly caterpillar.

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