The big hatch!

These twelve stages of “chickhood” are happening all over the Bird Island Sooty Tern colony at the moment.

The egg arrives
1. The egg arrives (Chris Feare)
2. 28 days later the hatch begins - the developing chick has an egg tooth on top of the tip of the bill (visible here in the centre of the hole it has made)
2. 28 days later the hatch begins – the developing chick has an egg tooth on top of the tip of the bill (visible here in the centre of the hole it has made) (Chris Feare)
3. No egg tooth visible as the chick chips around the broad end of the egg
3. No egg tooth visible as the chick chips around the broad end of the egg (Chris Feare)
4. Working my way out (Chris Feare)
4. Nearly made it (Chris Feare)
5. Still wet
5. Still wet (Chris Feare)
6. Drying out
6. Drying out (Chris Feare)
7. Dried out and now a fluff ball, but still with white egg tooth at the tip of the bill
7. Dried out and now a fluff ball, but still with white egg tooth at the tip of the bill (Chris Feare)
8. The first meal - a bit hard to swallow!
8. The first meal – a bit hard to swallow! (Chris Feare)
9. A drink of seawater from Mum (or Dad) (Chris Feare)
9. A drink of seawater from Mum (or Dad) (Chris Feare)
10. Parental protection is vital (Chris Feare)
10. Parental protection is vital (Chris Feare)
11. Straying from the nest can provoke attack by neighbours, causing injury or death
11. Straying from the nest can provoke attack by neighbours, causing injury or even death (Chris Feare)
12. At 3 days old capable of running, but safer to stay at nest. And still has egg tooth! (Chris Feare)
12. At 3 days old capable of running, but safer to stay at nest. And still has egg tooth! (Chris Feare)

 

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