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Thread subject: Don't see #4 anymore
Name Date Message
Dorothy 05/31/04 06:48 pm what happened? Did a parent remove it? would it do that? sniff
Shelley 05/31/04 06:52 pm I saw him just before Dennis arrived with the fish, when she was calling for him. He was trying desperately to dig in and be sheltered under Betty. He is so small....I, too, fear the worst, sooner rather than later. :-(
Marie 05/31/04 07:02 pm What I saw was #4 just before Dennis arrived with the fish being jossled around by the others and then when they lined up they managed to climb over him and secured him, beneath their bodies. I am sure intentionally so that all three of them got fed only. Betty seemed to search for the other mouth to feed almost at the end of the fish but couldn't find him. She called and called unless she was telling Dennis to go get another fish. Sadly I think this is the beginning of the end for #4. He will only get weaker now. Seems like they will keep him pinned down just so that there is enough food to go around for the remaining three. Nature can be so cruel, but we have to remember survival of the fittest to ensure this species carries on.
Dorothy 05/31/04 07:10 pm noticed just before this feeding Betty was "eyeing" #4 (it was just under her breast) -- then I came back online again and saw the feeding of the big three but no #4. This is such an eyeopening and educational event -- who would have "thunk" we could witness this a few years ago! (I'm an oldster, closest viewing was watching Wild America on B/W tv).
Dorothy 05/31/04 07:13 pm Marie, ok we cross posted; I see what you mean maybe that's why I literally didn't see #4.
Dave S 05/31/04 07:32 pm Marie,

I don't think that the chicks intended to pin the little one, it's more likely that they are scrambling for food and the littlest got in the way. It is the fittest that survive, and the little one is at a great disadvantage. Last year, the littlest lasted only one day and number three had a hard time as well before expiring. There is only so much room and so much food. Soon the adults will be letting the chicks feed themselves from the provided fish; it gets tough for the weakest.
Marie 05/31/04 09:16 pm Thank you Dave...perhaps you are right. At that age they couldn't possibly have the intelligence to do what I in my mind suggested, but it sure looked that way. Survival instinct may be stronger than we know, but I am sure as you suggested that the need to feed was greater. Even when the others turned away from the feeding I thought I saw the little one very briefly in the middle only for him to disappear as the three came together in a tight bunch.

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Tom Throwe
Last modified: Fri Dec 31 23:49:43 EST 2004