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Read by Charley and Dave

A sparrow chick begs for food from an adult female

A sparrow chick begs for food from an adult female

Our fifth topic is all about caring for the young. We have had glimpses in previous topics about the nesting habits of our seabirds, but now we can have a more in depth look at this crucial time in a birds life. Incubation, feeding the chick and defending the nest are all covered, and here are you questions on these subjects:

  1. Can you draw/make your very own gannet nest?
  2. Why do some seabirds only lay 1 egg, whilst others lay 2-3 eggs?
  3. How far does a puffin go to find food for its chick?
  4. Why can’t gannets fly when they first leave the nest?
  5. Why do ringed plovers pretend to have a broken wing?
Peregrine chicks getting close to leaving the nest

Peregrine chicks getting close to leaving the nest

An adult coot watches over its two chicks

An adult coot watches over its two chicks

ECOLOGIST'S UPDATE

Sometimes working in the field can throw up a situation that you really don't expect. Whilst on Burhou back on the 3rd June we were walking over towards Little Burhou when I noticed a strange movement in the grass. Upon inspection in turned out to be a storm petrel head down in the grass!

Storm petrel found in the grass

Storm petrel found in the grass

Storm petrels are usually only seen on land at night when they can avoid predators. This particular individual was unfortunately very tired after a long journey and had landed in exhaustion at the wrong time. Luckily we spotted it and were able to move it into a cavity in a rock wall where it would be safe from predators and could hopefully recover some energy. They nest in rock cavities and burrows so hopefully it will get up the energy to start breeding soon as well.

Storm petrels are very small birds!

Storm petrels are very small birds!