Well, sadly, all has not gone according to plan! The female blackbird duly laid her eggs over a few days but for some reason, she has not incubated them. At first I wasn’t concerned because I know that blackbirds do not incubate until they have laid all their eggs, usually at the rate of one each day. I therefore assumed that she just hadn’t finished laying. However, several days have now passed with no sign of her and still only the 4 eggs that were there earlier in the week. The last sighting I had was of the male blackbird who was hopping around the nest almost as if he was looking for her.
I am not sure what has happened but either something has happened to her, or something has spooked her and made her desert the nest. I do know that the neighbours’ cats come into my garden, and we have magpies around too. Also, just the other side of the fence is my neighbour’s back door which is of course used regularly. Whether it was one of these that spooked her or something else, I will probably never know.
I do know though that the failure rate with blackbirds is probably in excess of 60%, and I have even read reports of a 90% failure rate, so although it is sad, it is not unusual as they do have a habit of building their nests in less than ideal places. They usually lay several times each year so hopefully their next attempt will be more successful.
I feel really disappointed and even now I still look out for her return, although in reality, there would be no possibility of the eggs hatching now anyway as they have been left too long.
Ah well, the cycle of life goes on!
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Until next time,
The Dorset Rambler
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