The first chough eggs of the year have been laid. After a staggered start all five pairs have built nests. The new pair (nest four), were slow to start, but have now caught up.
The first eggs were laid in nest number three on April 13th and 15th, followed by more on the 17th and 18th. Nest number one was filled with three eggs on April 15th, 17th and 19th. Nest number five was last with three on 21st, 23rd and 27th. Unfortunately, two eggs were laid in nest number two, but were broken – the nest had not been completed, and the eggs broke against the nestbox floor.
We were approaching the point where we would “candle” the eggs to see how many were fertile. Unfortunately, the female in nest number three had other ideas…
Yesterday Morning – April 30th – we came in to find only two eggs in nest number three! The female had gently removed two of the eggs early in the morning. At 11 o’clock she removed another, and we went into the aviary to investigate.
We found the two eggs. Both were infertile. Both were also very pungent. Obviously, the female had realised the eggs were not going to hatch, and took them out. She removed the final egg overnight, and this too was infertile.
So, our current tally is six eggs. We are still hoping that the birds in nests four and two will lay. The birds in nest number two may go through another cycle, as can be the case when the initial cycle of egg laying is not quite right.