Choughs Breeding at Paradise Park, Hayle, Cornwall
We now have 20 eggs ready to be hatched - see below for numbers and estimated hatching dates. This afternoon, we also "candled" the eggs in nests 1-3 to check for fertility. (Holding the eggs up to a bright light to see any development inside). Nests 4 & 5 will be checked next week, as the eggs were laid at a later date.
Nest 1 has 4 eggs. Laid 2nd to 7th April. Estimated hatching April 24th. Three fertile eggs.
Nest 2 has 3 eggs. Laid 6th to 11th April. Estimated hatching April 30th. All three eggs are good.
Nest 3 has 5 eggs.Laid 1st to 8th April. Estimated hatching April 24th. Four good eggs.
Nest 4 has 4 eggs. Laid 10th to 16th April. Estimated hatching May 2nd.
Nest 5 has 4 eggs. Laid 13th to 19th April. Estimated hatching May 4th.
The estimates are based on the date of the 3rd egg laid, when the female usually starts to incubate "full-time". She does not sit on eggs one and two very much, which delays any development of the chicks inside. This means that most of the chicks will hatch withing one or two days of each other.
With a larger clutch of four or five eggs the two final eggs (and chicks) will always be at a slight disadvantage, and these chicks will be the ones which tend not to survive in times of hardship.
These images are from our seclusion aviaries, where we are continuing to build up our flock of choughs. This year we have five pairs of nesting choughs. The birds have been put into their breeding aviaries at the start of March.
Over the next few months we hope to bring you images of choughs nests - from the first few twigs being placed in the nestboxes, to the final fledging of the chough chicks.
The nest cameras have a small set of lights placed inside the nestbox to illuminate activity during the day. At night, they switch to infra-red, and the birds can often be seen roosting, especially when the female is incubating.
Webcam images from 2012
The cameras may shut down at night.
Many thanks to Mike & all at Handykam for cameras, software and technical support.