Three weeks old!

How time flies! The oldest two chicks in Manton Bay are now three weeks old and they’re really starting to find their feet. Over the last couple of days the chicks have been trying to stand up and stretch their wings so we’ve been able to get a really good look at their growing feathers.

The chicks were very obliging earlier this afternoon and looked straight at the camera. At this angle the white tips at the end of their beaks were clearly visible.

This is likely to be what remains of the egg tooth – a small, sharp, cranial protuberance used by chicks to break through the egg’s surface during hatching. In some bird species the egg tooth may just fall off a few days after hatching and in others it is worn down until it disappears. How long will it take for the youngsters to lose theirs I wonder?