Friday, 25 July 2008

Deflated population

While the new brood of chicks has continued to decline this week (4 then 3 on Monday; 3 then 2 on Tuesday), it seems to have bottomed out for the moment at 2 chicks, making a current quad total of 5 (2 large; 1 medium; 2 small). As the plot below shows, the drop-off in numbers of the latest brood is the fastest during the whole summer. Hopefully, however, the decline will now tail off and allow the extant chicks to mature.

In passing, the two oldest chicks are practically adult-sized now, and have taken on the colouration of adult females. That's taken them circa 80 days in total, suggesting that the most recent brood may take until early October to reach the same stage. I'm not sure how plausible that is. Time will tell.

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