A fascinating video from last May is going viral, as it shows the moment a hatching baby bird is attempting to break free of its shell, its tiny unfeathered body visible as it eases out. All of this happens in the palm of researcher Dr. Szymon Drobniak, giving context for the bird’s size.
CBC News reports that the hatching egg in the video was taken by Drobniak at Gotland Island. A group of professors at Poland’s Jagiellonian University in cooperation with Uppsala University have been researching the hole-nesting Eurasian blue tit species on the island for nearly 13 years. “Research is currently focusing on the reasons behind females reproducing with several males, and the effects of testosterone and stress hormones on chicks. After their birth, the chicks are reared in incubators by the researchers to keep track of the families’ offspring,” reports CBC.
In his bio on the Anthropological Institute & Museum’s website, Drobniak writes that his initial involvement with the project began while he was working on his PhD thesis at Jagiellonian. “From 2007 every year I’ve been involved in the field season on Gotland, admiring and studying my main model species — the blue tit.” Take a look at the moment he witnessed a chick hatching in his palm.