Four Days Old on July 4th

The chicks in the Althea R. Sherman Chimney Swifts’ Tower were 4 days old on July 4th. They are growing amazingly quickly so their parents must be feeding them well. Their feather follicles are becoming grayer and little bristles are starting to emerge from the feather sheaths.

It is interesting to see the patterns of feather emergence. They have little bristly caps on their foreheads. Their flight feathers on their wing edges are most pronounced. There are lines for feather follicles starting on each shoulder, continuing along the sides of their backs and meeting in a V at the hips before continuing as a single line to the tips of their tails.

The last egg is still in the nest and we suspect is unlikely to hatch this long after these three who hatched on June 30. However it should not be removed. The parents may remove it after more time has passed or the jostling youngsters may accidently push it out of the nest. This nest is much flatter than last year’s nest so is more precarious for eggs and youngsters alike.

We heard gentle peeping sounds from the chicks when they are quiet. Soon there will be louder calls to be fed.

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