Nesting Neighbours

June 01, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

May was the wettest on record but it certainly hasn’t stopped the birds from nesting. Our garden shed was out of commission after we discovered a Robin nest with five tiny, newly hatched chicks. Sadly, one chick died but the other four went on to fledge successfully and are now hopping around the garden, while we wait to see if the nest will be used again for a second brood. 
   
Two out of the three nestboxes on our shed are also in use – one by a pair of Great Tits and one by a pair of Blue Tits. MWW_Blue_Tit-4291MWW_Blue_Tit-4291
The Great Tits have successfully reared three chicks. We’ll have to wait a little bit longer to see how the Blue Tits have fared but sad to say it is not looking good at the moment. Five eggs laid and four hatched but we are now down to only two tiny little chicks. The extreme changes in temperature from cold and wet to blazing sunshine and warmth may have had something to do with it.

Starlings have recently fledged from their rooftop nesting spot and it looks like mum might be going back in for a second brood. House Sparrows are continuing to do well in the garden with every available nook and cranny on the house filled up. I am still seeing them taking nesting materials and so some must still be nest building.

And the nestboxes in the local community woodland? At the start of April, eight nests were being built. Then the snow and freezing temperatures hit and everything stopped. The good news is that once the weather improved, nest building resumed and six nests have now been completed, with the chicks inside approximately a week away from fledging. Last week we rung the chicks from five of the nestboxes, with the last one being a bit too small at the moment. A total of 37 chicks in all with one box still to do. Ringing birds involves attaching a small, light, metal ring to their legs with a unique number on it. This means that we can track the progress of the chicks as they continue into adulthood. If they go on to breed in the woods, are found dead or recaptured alive then we’ll be able to find out when they hatched and trace them back to the nestbox they came from. Over time it will help us to build up a comprehensive picture of the birds in the woods. You can find out more about the BTO Ringing Scheme here: https://www.bto.org/our-science/projects/ringing/about 

MWW_Greenfinch-4575MWW_Greenfinch-4575 MWW_Robin-4269MWW_Robin-4269 MWW_Starling-4465MWW_Starling-4465

 


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