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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

ZEBRA DOVES - 6. What happens to the third chick?

ZEBRA DOVES - 6. What happens to the third chick?

The chicks are now 12 days old. The parent birds are spending less and less time in the nest, flying in only to feed them. Both chicks demand to be fed at the same time. This results in both the chicks’ beaks being thrust into the parent’s wide-open beak as the latter transfer its crop milk to the former. I have not been able to see the third chick for some days now. I can only see two large chicks in the nest. Has the third chick been starved to death, not being able to compete for food with its two bigger siblings? And has its body been disposed of?



At 2:14 pm, Blogger budak said...

I recall reading (or was it on some documentary) that some birds, especially raptors, routinely lay one or more eggs than can be supported by the parents, as a form of insurance should the first chick perish. If all goes 'well', the first chick simply reaches fledglinghood, outcompeting/outeating its sibling(s) in the process.


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