Three spiky chicks have been found with the male at the ostrich nest.
Head Ranger James Souchon took his guests to visit the nest – which has been watched closely for exactly this event – on a cloudy morning, and to his absolute delight spotted the tiny shapes moving around as his Land Rover approached.
“Tiny” is probably the wrong word; the chicks are roughly the size of a chicken – and therefore way bigger than many bird species we find here – yet next to their father they were absolutely dwarfed.
Out of an initial eight eggs, only three chicks have hatched.
Another egg lay a small distance from where the male was initially sitting brooding the chicks, so there is still hope that this one may hatch too, as there is sometimes a lag of a couple of days between the first and last eggs hatching.
Why the male wasn’t incubating that last egg and only the chicks is anyone’s guess, especially since it was a grey and cold morning when the chicks were discovered which probably made it even more important that the egg was kept warm. There may well be a very plausible explanation, but I don’t know enough about Ostrich reproduction to know exactly what it is.
Whatever the case, the fact that three chicks are alive and well is enough for us for now.