On Today’s Menu

 “For your Starter, we are presenting only the very freshest and delectable Arachnid Crudo. Bon appetit!”

On 7/30/22 I opened box #19 (in the South-east corner of Sham’s paddock) and took a quick snapshot of these little gems. They are so helpless at that age, with just a little fuzz on their head and rump.

Two days later I was able to go out on 8/1/22 but it was after many hours of rain and it was still a bit overcast. But, I did capture the parents feeding their chicks. The first photo below is the female with a tasty meal. It’s her mate flying behind her. He, too had a mouthful of worms.

Yesterday, 8/2/22, I went out again to see if I could catch the birds in better lighting. The male showed up first with that huge spider! The the female arrived with what looks like a cricket of some sort. I can usually gauge the age of the chicks by the size of the meals. These babies grow FAST.

They both flew off for a while, then returned to the wire fence across the street. It’s very common for the birds to fly into a nearby tree or, like here, a fence or post and wait for several minutes before making the move to the nest. All the while, they are scanning the area. I’m assuming it’s a way to evaluate whether there are any predators that could discover the whereabouts of their chicks by watching their movements. It looks like they may have found a stash of some larvae to offer their hungry babes.

Eventually, the male flew to the nest, and ducked inside to feed his brood. Then, he hung for a spell on the outside, and I knew that he was waiting for something to happen. He popped back inside and quickly emerged with a white poop pillow (as I refer to it.) What goes in must come out! The parent birds must routinely clean the nest. It’s messy to be a parent! They usually fly a good distance before dropping the poop – another way to prevent predators from tracking back to the nest.

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