Monday, 7 January 2008

Blue Tit pair outside Nestbox

This morning our visiting Blue Tit pair continued to pop in and out of our Camera Nestbox. Both were seen removing wood shavings again. I would hear them through the speakers but they didn’t always appear inside the Nestbox. I set up my camera on a tripod outside to see what they were up to.

Waiting…. my video showed that they both would look inside for the other and if the box was empty they would wait - sometimes hanging on the edge of the roof! That will have been the noises I was hearing. Looking through the film I also noticed that the male is going in first and then the female follows and he often leaves immediately! Other times she is inside where I can see her and he is outside pecking at the entrance again. All this activity I would have said is very early – but perhaps not.

I chose not to edit or alter the time in the video below so you can see it as it was taken. You will see the female took her time leaving the box, she pecked at the entrance a while and finally left with a mouthful of wood shavings. Note she appears at the entrance after she hears a bird singing - was it the male perhaps telling her she's been in too long!


Blue tit pair inspect nestbox, video 1:50 with background music, try 480p quality.


Finally, I now have ID on the male of this pair. He is in the centre and left photos below. You can see the female on the right is smaller. More interestingly you can see a black curl at the side of this males head. I was sure when I saw it go in today that it was the male from last year but now I am wondering if it is. I have looked back at some old pieces of film but I cannot get a clear view of this side of his head – the curl is on one side only! So for the moment I have ID for this pair so I should be able to spot a different male in our box should one appear at nesting time.




The photos and video shown above were taken in my garden outside my Camera Nestbox on January 7th 2008.

7 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

This is exciting to be able to tell the males apart. I can't wait to see what they do and when they nest.

shirl said...

Hi again, Lisa :-)

Yes, I have to say nesting is new to me, we got this box last March, but once activity starts it is quite addictive viewing.

I grabbed the video frames for photos to show the size difference between the male and female. I had absolutely no idea there could be distinctive markings on them. I will look again at last years footage to see if this is the same male but he wasn’t too attentive with the female until the young needed fed then he began to help! Therefore I don’t have lots of images of him.

It really is fun to follow the activity of these two birds especially second guessing what is going on - until someone tells me or we work it out. Last year I thought the female was slipping on the new floor of our box but she was performing the nesting shuffle!! What’s that I hear you ask … watch and see :-D

Jayne said...

How sweet they are! Thanks for sharing them with us Shirl!

Layanee said...

I'll bet that male was singing "What are you doing in there, shopping?" They are really beautiful birds!

Aron said...

Seems a bit early for them to be thinking about making a nest, altho with all this global warming going on they could a bit confused.

How much does a nest box with a camera istalled cost?

Mike @ Fenphotography said...

Great video Shirl, like the ID method it will be interesting to see your future videos.

Mike.

shirl said...

Hi again, Jayne, Layanee and Mike and hello Aron :-)

Jayne – Yes, they are and quite little characters in the garden too :-D

Layanee – lol very good caption! Yes, they are pretty little things and a lot more colourful than my videos shows :-D

Aron – Yes, I don’t know what’s been going on with entrance hole pecking. I agree I would have thought this was way to early too. We have had heavy rain with very strong winds (roof being repaired as I write this) and snow too so perhaps they were just removing wet pieces or simply making sure any other pairs see that they have claimed our Nestbox! Camera Nestboxes vary in price and some can be as much as £300. I bought my Nestbox last March and felt it was reasonably priced at £130.

Mike – Thanks, I only had one piece of film with them both going in the box in the hour I put my camera out and I couldn't resist leaving it unedited. I’ll be honest and say I had no idea blue tits could have distinctive markings like this but since I have read that this can happen. Yes – I feel a set of mug shots coming on :-D