This year there is an active nest of Merlins over at Nelson’s Resort. Merlins are a small Falcon and their nest site is very noisy. The parents are extremely vocal when coming in and out of the nesting area. I don’t know why they are so vocal, most birds are very secretive around a nest site.
Anyhow, you can see that the 3 chicks are different ages from each other. Some birds lay their eggs and then start sitting after all their eggs have been laid. This method makes all the chicks the same age when they hatch – Mallard Ducks and other waterfowl do this. But these Merlins must have hatched on different days. The oldest is on the right and the youngest is sitting in the nest. It must get a little unfair at some times, as the oldest would be the strongest and most aggresive when it comes to feeding time. I think some raptors use this to their advantage, when food is scarce, the most dominant bird will survive — if there’s abundant food, all will have plenty to eat, but when times are tough >>>> only the strong survive >>>> survival of the fittest, as they say.