The Cape wagtails: a nesting saga

In a previous post “Mid-winter Chat”, a pair of wagtails started nesting and six weeks later a single chick fledged from the nest :

The rotund little chick on 13 September.
The rotund little chick on 13 September.

It became self sufficient quickly with the full attention from both the parent birds and within ten days it had flown the backyard coop.

The parents were soon back in the nest with a second batch of eggs when disaster struck.  After a bout of galeforce winds, the nest came adrift from it’s position on a broad aloe leaf and collapsed to the ground spilling the four beautifully formed eggs.

Wagtail eggs

A costly disaster for the pair; but a couple of days on the resilient pair were building a new nest from scratch higher up in the aloe plant:

New nest 9 October

It’s a little over two weeks now and soon I expect to hear the first cheeps.  The nest is too high for a glimpse to check out the numbers, but I’m eager to know whether they aimed high with four again.


19 thoughts on “The Cape wagtails: a nesting saga

    1. Yes, and with rapt attention too 🙂 Love it when the chicks start flying. Observing kestrels must be fascinating in the context of being raptors and for the chicks to learn to hunt. Do they stay in the vicinity of the nest for a while?

      1. Yes they do, after hatching they’re fed for another month about, then they have their flying lessons which is astonishing to watch, then once they’ve left the nest parents help for an other 2 or 3 weeks or so and then gradually disperse – average of 3 babies each year and an astonishing 6 last year!

  1. Nature can be so sad sometimes don’t you think Liz? I wonder if they’d have tended the nest if you’d replaced it? Glad to see they’ve moved on to another brood!

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