Hi, new here and looking for advice.A week or so ago there was a huge commotion in our back garden caused by a bunch of magpies trying to get the newly hatched blackbird chicks nesting in a disused wendy house. The blackbird parents were doing a fantastic job of chasing the mob away, but when I returned the next day the adult male had been killed, lying right outside the broken window of the wendy house. I couldn't see the mother bird anywhere.
I checked the nest without getting too close and found there were two blind and almost bald chicks - no idea if there had been more. While trying to find out what could be done for them if they were orphaned, I spotted the mother coming back with food. Since then I have just kept a daily check on them and put out mealworm, oats and bits of fruit, mainly to feed the mother who is probably exhausted doing all the feeding herself.
But now the chicks have grown, have a whole lot of feathers, and look like they will be ready to leave the nest within the next couple of days. My understanding is that normally the father takes over their care at this stage, and keeps an eye on them even for a couple of weeks even after they start to fly, but obviously he is not around.
So should I expect that the mother will not take on this role, and some human help will be needed when they hop out of the nest? Or is it likely that the mother will take on the father's role, as she is unlikely to be preparing for another brood?
Any advice is most welcome. I would just hate to see these chicks not make it now after all they and the mother have been through, and the extraordinary way she has continued to look after them. Thanks in advance.
Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can
The neck wound looked very un-cat-like. It is fairly difficult for cats to get in here too, not impossible, but they very rarely get past the fencing.The point is he is gone, however that happened, and I want to find out if the female is likely to take on the male's normal parental duties when the chicks leave the nest. They look like they are just about ready.
2013 photos & vids here
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