At first light this morning there were only 3 heads instead of the 5 that were there the night before. At first I thought 2 had fledged, but after looking closer, I realize that instead they expired during the night. The remaining three are actually standing on their bodies. You can see some of the bodies if you look closely, but for the most part they've already been trampled underfoot.
This seems gross and sad, but nestling mortality is a hard fact of life. If the spring nights get too cold, or the adults can't find enough food, some of the chicks will die. In this case, I think the problem lies with the food supply. It's been drizzling for 3 of the 4 previous days, which I imagine makes it hard to for the adults to find flying insects and tough to spot crawling insects.
As for the remaining chicks, they are taking turns sitting in the nest hole, usually for about 5 minutes at a time. I guess they're checking out the outside world, and working up the nerve to leave the nest.
(Don't adjust your volume. This clip has no audio.)
Max / min temperature for May 25: 51 F (10 C)
46 F (7 C)
Precipitation: .3 in