Bluebird and Small Cavity Nester Conservation
Sialis - Bluebirds and other small cavity nesters

eggs Asynchronous Hatching

    Two Tree Swallow babies from same nest.  Notice size difference.  Photo by E. Zimmerman


    These two Tree Swallow were in the same nest, but one is obviously at least 1-2 days behind the other in terms of development. Notice the difference in wing size, pin feathers on head and back, and tail feathers on the larger bird.

    In Tree Swallows, the last egg laid may not hatch for 1-2 days after the others, since the female starts incubation after laying the penultimate (next-to-last) egg. That is why it is important not to remove unhatched eggs too early. In areas where temperatures are high, development may start before incubation officially begins.

    Anyway, I'm guessing the developmental differential is due to asynchronous hatching. I suppose it could also just be a runt that is not getting as much food, as I have seen similar variations in size with bluebird nestlings.

    Unfortunately I don't know the exact age of these nestlings, but the first egg in this nest was laid 5/13.

Nature is NOT putting up boxes for the birds to nest in. Putting up a box is interfering with nature. With that intervention comes responsibility.
Nicholas A. Zbiciak, Bluebird_L, 2000

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