Monday, 24 March 2008

Camera Nestbox update

Today I have posted on two nestboxes in my garden, but by the far the most interesting in my garden is another one that has a camera in it. So what is happening there?


I don't want this mess, video 0:12 with background music, try 480p quality.


Okay, as you can see this box is a tad messy as it has had a rooster using it. Now, if you were a bird looking for a home to bring chicks into the world would you use this one or a brand new one? Yep… but we aren’t nesting birds! The bird in the video above is the female blue tit now interested in my new Arch Nestbox. Oh… I do hope she reconsiders her choice.

So what about the rooster? Well the feathers on the floor in the video above probably tell a story but unfortunately I didn’t see what happened! All I can say that is on one occasion this month our roosting blue tit (every night since beginning of November ’07) did get an unwelcome visitor which required a chase off through the garden unnerving it for a while that night.

So where is the rooster now? Well I have absolutely no idea but it has not been roosting in my Camera Nestbox for a week now. I am guessing by the number of feathers on the floor of my Nestbox a second more heated altercation occurred – which I missed! The rooster has distinctive markings so I would spot it at the feeders in my garden. However, there are only two blue tits visiting my garden at the moment – at least that I have noticed.

Disappointment is indeed an understatement of how I feel about the blue tit pair choosing the ‘other’ Nestbox. Or have they? On the same day that I opened up the Arch Nestbox I heard a familiar tap tap coming through the speakers of my camera Nestbox. I do believe one of the birds is reconsidering which box to use! I watched as it flew back to the Arch Nestbox. Mm… perhaps it is not over yet!

This morning, once again, I heard the tap tap through the speakers. I also saw both birds visit the ‘other’ Nestbox. Okay, if I were to take a guess at this moment I would say they both like the new box. However, one of them is coming back to the camera Nestbox which was cleaned out one of the nights the rooster wasn’t using it. This box now has a smooth clean floor. Now this could be interesting – I should try to work out if it is the male or the female. If it is the female we are in with a chance that the Camera Nestbox could still be used.

Interestingly, the Camera Nestbox has one thing over the Arch Nestbox - especially as it is so cold at the moment with snow fluttering about the garden. It gets more sunlight so it is likely to be warmer. Now, does this matter for a successful brood? The Camera Nestbox only gets early morning sun but from last year’s diary the eggs are hatched early morning. Mm… I am considering if the story of our Camera Nestbox for 2008 is really over!

Oh yes… one other thought. The Nestbox entrance hole I have chosen for the Camera Nestbox was one of three supplied by the manufacturer. I selected the one that would suit a Great tit which is larger than the blue tit. Now, I originally was hoping a great tit would use this Nestbox. I wonder…




Finally, last year on the 24th of March we witnessed a very interesting manoeuvre by the blue tit female in our camera Nestbox. At the time, I wondered if the floor on the new box was just slippery. However, this action looked deliberate. What is she doing in the video above? Well the answer is that is she is performing something that is called a nesting shuffle. This is a sign that she is considering building a nest in the Nestbox. I will say no more about this shuffle for the moment – except that I would dearly love to see it in my Camera Nestbox sometime soon!

The first video above was taken in my Camera Nestbox on March 18th 2008.

14 comments:

Jane said...

How fascinating. Didn't know about the shuffle. Amazing. Can't believe both you and Doug are having trouble with getting tits in your boxes (that sounds rude doesn't it...but you know what I mean). Great video... more! I love your little bird videos.

Melanie said...

Shirl, this is so much better than watching something on the television!

They are really such beautiful birds.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Such drama and shuffling. It is exctiing to see what happens next.

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Shirl - belated Happy Easter - have been enjoying all the postings on the nest box antics with my cup of coffee this morning - birds are just fascinating to watch. We've still got our male Brambling visiting the bird table along with a little Siskin which is the first for both these birds so v. exciting!

The nest box that I can see from the office window up in our Walnut tree fell off during the gales and as it was so wet from being on the ground I put another up which I'd put elsewhere which had never been used and literally within minutes of coming in I noticed the blue tits were starting to build a nest!! Have you got any tips on where to site a nest box as would be interested to know.

Take care and will visit again soon... Miranda

Frances, said...

Shirl, this is so exciting to watch. Hope your female return to the camera box. Do only these types of birds use the camera box, or could you get another type if it is abandoned by couple number one?
Frances at Faire Garden

Layanee said...

I want some blue tits. That sounds odd also! LOL They are the prettiest birds.

Mike @ Fenphotography said...

Wow Shirl another great capture of behaviour you wouldn't normally see or even know happened. Amazing update. Mike.

shirl said...

Hi again Jane, Melanie, Lisa, Miranda, Frances , Layanee and Mike :-)

Jane – The whole nest building is absolutely fascinating! The shuffle is great to see when there is nesting material in the box. Yes, I was disappointed for Doug too – yes it does sound funny! If I am unable to show footage from our box for this year I will repeat some bits from last year so you can see what will be going on! Thank-you, I enjoy making the videos as you know :-D

Melanie – Yes I agree, there really is quite a drama going on in the garden at the moment! They are lovely little birds with surprising confidence too for their small size :-D

Lisa – Oh yes… and there is so much more to come if we get a nest in the camera box. I’ve not given up hope yet :-D

Miranda – Thank-you – I hope you enjoyed a break too. Glad you enjoyed the catch-up posts. How fantastic to have new birds visiting I can completely understand your excitement! We have had visits from long-tailed tits for the first time too. My nestboxes are on north and east facing walls and they seem okay there. They are sited about 2 metres up. Hope that helps :-D

Frances – You will be delighted to know that I have seen the female blue tit inside the camera box having a look around again. The outside entrance, I can hear, is getting chipped at too so that is a good sign. However… they are visiting the Arch Nestbox together. I am now pretty certain by the way they are sticking together at the feeders etc they will use one of my boxes. The blue tits are the most likely birds to use this type of Nestbox however the larger great tit could use it too. There is a slim chance that if this pair decide on the Arch box another pair could use the camera one. However to ensure that no other birds come nest building this female could build nests in both boxes. They would eventually abandon one of them. There’s a lot to this nesting lark :-D

Layanee – LOL! They are pretty - but then again so are your bluebirds and cardinals :-D

Mike – Thanks, it really is fascinating what goes on in the Nestbox. I would dearly have loved to have seen chicks grow and survive in the camera box. Fingers crossed :-D

The Black Rabbit said...

Hello Shirl!
As I (have just) commented on your other post below, we've given up on our Tits this year - very disappointing, but I think I've only got mesel to blame, attracting a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers to the garden, and not exactly discouraging the rat 100%.

Never mind eh.

ALL THE BEST OF LUCK with your situation however - all my fingers and toes are crossed for you!

shirl said...

Hello again Doug! I can completely understand your disappointment :-(

Yes, encouraging another larger species into the garden may well have put off the blue tits nesting in your garden. Although perhaps they would have used the other box anyway – who knows now?

However, having woodpeckers in your garden must be fantastic to see. I saw some at a reserve at the weekend and got some distant, rubbish, photos through glass.

Thanks for keeping everything crossed – who knows which way it will turn out here! They still visit the camera box too. If I was to take a guess at the moment I’d say they will use the Arch box. Ah… as you said, never mind :-)

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Good luck with the blue tits nesting Shirl. I hope they will succeed this year and am keeping my fingers crossed!

Mel said...

Lovely video! They are beautiful birds, thank you for sharing this :)

shirl said...

Hi there Yolanda and Mel :-)

Yolanda – Thanks for your kind wishes. I too hope they will succeed this year – which ever Nestbox they choose to use :-D

Mel – Thank-you, they are such quick, tiny birds and it isn’t until you see them up close like this that you can see how pretty they actually are! I am glad that you are enjoying seeing them :-D

Chris said...

Hi Shirl

We had a great display of the 'nesting shuffle' in our camera box yesterday - from both a great tit and a blue tit! The blue tits have since put in a lot of work so I'm hoping the great tit doesn't decide to return and turf them out.