Day 2: Another new beginning!

On July 21, the second egg in the nest hatched!! Songbirds are altricial, meaning they’re helpless when they hatch and require parental care in the nest (contrasting with precocial birds, like shorebirds, that are relatively mature and can start running around soon after hatching). As you can see, the helpless nestlings’ eyes are still covered and they’re mostly naked, so they still require brooding from the adult to maintain stable temperature. Meanwhile, the adults also have to bring small prey items to the nestlings. But with all the brooding these feeding trips aren’t too frequent yet.

The males does most of the brooding when the nestlings first hatch.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, during these early days the male does most of the feeding (I think the female deserves a break, don’t you?). These tiny beakloads with lots of time brooding in between may not seem like much, but providing protein-packed little invertebrates like grubs and arthropods can grow these little chicks quickly, as you’ll see!

Especially when it’s hot out the parents brood the youngsters, fluffing out their feathers to keep them cool and cover the chicks as much as possible.

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