Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Here is the first group of nestlings again, eight days old as of Monday. Look how much more room they take up in the nest than they did a week ago. I was surprised how relatively unresponsive they were this time compared to earlier visits, displaying only one brief gape in the whole bunch. We thought perhaps their bellies were full and they were sleeping (and we did look closely to make sure they were actually moving) -- but then I read that right about this age, nestlings start to react differently. (Sialis.org) Instead of gaping when the box is opened, they hunker down with their eyes closed.
Eyes -- that's right, at this age their eyes may well have opened. We did not see any evidence that the eyes on this bunch had opened yet, but they may just have been keeping them closed. Their feathers are starting to come through; you can see them on the wings quite clearly.
Here's a nice page on Sialis.org that follows a brood day-by-day from hatching to fledging.