Saturday, 3 March 2007

If you build it they will come

For some time now I have wanted to title a post as above. I have placed feeders, tried different foods, planted new plants and the birds have come with the number of species increasing within my small Scottish garden. I am a gardener who is now choosing to share my garden with its visitors and I am really amazed at who comes.......


The nestbox shuffle, video 1:153 without background music, try 480p quality.


Our Camera Nestbox, shown above, is an example of how quickly the birds have taken up a new opportunities in my garden. This box was only put up a few days ago and already we have spotted Blue Tits showing interest. How fortunate were we to be watching the box this morning when not one but two birds popped in. This piece of film is almost two minutes long but I felt in this instance I could not edit it.

Exhausted, looked the first Blue Tit, after it appeared on the floor of the box – then it appeared to need a quiet moment. I am not sure what it was doing next. I first thought it was catching its breath and then on further looking I considered it was trying to catch food from the air - which I could not see.

Changing light levels, also shown above, gave us the first clue some activity was about to happen. We also heard some noise via the microphone. We are guessing that the birds were curious on the edges of the roof - perhaps trying to see/get in the holes that give light to the box. We spotted this before the first Blue Tit came - then it too seemed to notice the change in light levels and noise when it was in the box. I wonder if it had been calling to the other bird I could not tell.

Are you looking at me - the second Blue Tit was definitely curious about the camera before it left. At that point our delight turned to fear – were these going to be the first and last pictures from our Nestbox? This bird definitely had a different presence in the box than the first. It looked much more used to this environment – checking it out. I would also take a guess that this bird was pecking at the entrance hole before it left – perhaps to stop other birds claiming it?

A pair – I wonder if today’s visitors were a pair. Yes, the first bird left rather quickly when the second appeared - but they didn’t appear too threatened by each other. I also wonder if other Blue Tits will call in on this new, detached, residence. Maybe a Great or Coal Tit will have a look yet too. Who knows - that is what I so enjoy about my garden and watching the birds!


The video, shown above, was taken in my garden on March 3rd 2007.

2 comments:

Owlman said...

Very cool. Did you build a camera or use an off the shelf model? Did the Tits nest in the box?

shirl said...

Hi again Owlman :-)

Yes, it definitley is!

No, this original Nestbox was bought from a small company after I browsed Nestbox diaries of Blue Tits. Sentimentally I choose this supplier. This couple have in turn have enjoyed my diaries and kindly sent me a replacement new box (new roof design) a few months ago. The blue tits have decided to roost in a box without a camera this year of course!!

Yes, two different pairs in two consecutive years used this box. In both cases eight eggs were laid and sadly in both cases no chicks survived. That was sad to watch. However, this year’s brood lasted a little longer. Our Nestbox wasn’t the only one that failed here in the UK. Our wet summers of the past two years have resulted in fewer (or in our case no) caterpillars available to feed the chicks. I put out mini live mealworms but it was too late by the time the single Mum recognised them as food. This year the brood was later than the previous so it appears the blue tits are trying to time it right themselves. Fingers crossed for next year!

Good luck with your Owl broods for next year too :-D