The Difference 3 Days Make

The Chimney Swift babies have grown and are spilling around the edges of the nest. They are spending more time stacked side by side sitting straight up. Usually one is across the bottom, sort of as a brace. This is the “little bald one” of previous posts. The pink stubby wings have acquired sheath enclosed flight feathers.

While watching the web cam monitor, we saw a parent come in to feed one chick and then take a rest on the wall below the nest. While there it preened and seemed to drowse for about 10 minutes. The chicks did not beg or complain while the parent rested. A little bit later, a parent came in and did the same thing.

The oldest chick must be about 13 days old. The eggs were seen on August 3. Within a few days, 3 chicks were seen. By the end of that week, it was thought there were four chicks. On the 13th we photographed five chicks. Today, the 17th, we looked for eyes that might be opening. Chimney Swift chicks start to open their eyes at about 13 or 14 days of age – one eye at first and the other a bit later. We made several images looking for eye slits.

We had just packed up and were taking another peek in the observation window when the chick at the top right opened its right eye just¬†part way. There was a shiny black eye peeking under a crinkly half open eyelid. This image was the last one made before putting cameras in bags and gathering our gear. It was not ten minutes later that the eye opened. It would have been nice to record the event but we will expect to see more eyes the next time we visit the Althea R. Sherman Chimney Swifts’ Tower.

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