Sunday, 11 May 2008

Eggs three and four

Saturday morning saw the third egg in our Camera Nestbox and quite a clear view too when I first looked. However, looking in today it was a bit tricky to see if there was a fourth egg or not. Although she is laying one egg per day it is possible she could have a morning off. I eventually had a clearer view as you can see below. The black and white photo was taken at 6pm tonight. I have noticed that later in the evening the eggs are uncovered. So for the moment things are going as expected in our Nestbox.








What I have also noticed this year is that the male is much more attentive. I have seen him feeding the female on many occasions. Eventually I caught some footage in the Nestbox yesterday. You will notice in the video below that the female appears to know when the food is coming. Is she saying ‘Hurry-up’ or ‘Thank-you’?

The male made repeated visits in this occasion. Notice that on one delivery he stayed longer. The female clearly didn’t get all the food he had to offer and instead of eating the rest himself he waited for her to take it. His job was done. Off he went for more! This year the pair really appear to be 'a pair' so that makes me feel quite positive for them.


Nestbox Blue tit male feeds female, video 0:57 with background music, try 480p quality.


However, and this is a HUGE however I have not seen a single caterpillar being fed to the female. I had never thought about this until I received a comment on my last post that mentioned ‘beaks brimming with green caterpillars’ going into a Nestbox to feed chicks. I wasn’t considering caterpillars yet as we have no chicks but I’m sure the male would bring them to the female if there were any. Mm… I have to confess I have now gone from positive to worried.

You would think that the birds would adapt if they couldn’t find caterpillars to feed their young. They tried all sorts of bugs last year. Let’s hope that my Ivies can supply plenty of spiders and other insects and that my contribution of two roses planted near the Nestbox will have insects interested in them.

I also hope that I get a lot of blossom on my pieris shrubs this year as I have seen the blue tits at these flowers in past years I guess there must be insects there too. Last year wasn’t good for the pieris in my garden but it is looking good at the moment with lots of red foliage. I dearly hope this will all be enough. Having a camera in a Nestbox doesn’t mean its all happy viewing as you share the sadness with the pair too. Fingers crossed once again.


The photos and video above were taken in the camera nestbox in my garden on may 10th &1tth 2008.

7 comments:

Jane said...

Just back from a weeks holiday. Great to see your pictures. So glad they decided to choose the camera nestbox in the end! Keeping my fingers crossed for a successful brooding/fledging... and lots of insects! Jane

Cinj said...

It has been a bit chilly this spring, hopefully the bugs will be coming out soon.

garden girl said...

Shirl, it's such a privilege being able to see these lovely little birds in their little abode. Thanks so much for sharing this. I hope all turns out well for this pair and their brood.

Nancy J. Bond said...

Shirl, this is such a privilege to be able to watch this little family evolve. Thanks for sharing...I can't wait to show my Mom who has been an avid birdwatcher all her life. I'm sure she's never seen "the inside story" up close and personal before. :)

shirl said...

Hi again Jane, Cinj, Garden Girl and Nancy :-)

Jane – Hope you had a great time! Yes, I am particularly delighted I can share these pictures after the shaky start to this Nestbox. Oh I really hope this brood survives. Yes, it is definitely insects we need and lots of them and if the caterpillars are available that would be just brilliant :-D

Cinj – I agree and that is probably why the birds are nesting much later this year. Yep by the growth on the plants now and our warmer temps the bugs must surely be around somewhere :-D

Garden Girl – I agree, it really is! As I said above I am delighted that I can share this activity. Thanks for your good wishes :-D

Nancy – Again, I agree completely! The whole nesting process does evolve and if we are lucky enough that the chicks survive longer than a week you will be able to see how very quickly they grow and by then we will start to see signs of wings. I hope your Mom enjoyed seeing this too :-D

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I have Peris in my garden too. I haven't seen any bird in particular in the bush. They all use it to approach the feeders as it is right beside the feeders. My poor bush has been beat up some the past year or so so it isn't as it should be. Poor thing. I do love all the little video clips. Such excitement brewing in your garden.

shirl said...

Hi again Lisa

Interesting that we see different things happening with the same plants. I guess you mean the storms and rain have damaged your plant :-(

Euphorbia is another that I have seen the birds at. I hope your bush recovers this year.

Ah… the video clips are going to get much more interesting – I do hope! She has stopped at eight eggs which I am pleased about as more is just more little banana mouths to fill. Wait until you see the little mouths – odd things at the start!

The hedgehogs were out and about last night too but future filming may well be quite different as my video camera finally stopped working – just after I caught some film of a hedgehog! It has served us well for many years so I can't complain about it. Yesterday I received a new one but I have yet to try it out. So yes, lot’s of excitement here :-D

Have a great weekend :-D