Friday, 16 June 2017

Nestbox update

I have been posting regular updates on the tree sparrows' progress on the "Nestbox camera 2017 page", accessible via the tab above.  The female laid six eggs starting around 20/21 May and all six hatched around 05 June.  It has been very difficult to get a good view into the box because of nest material in front of the camera, despite my moving the camera several times before laying started.  Things have improved in the past couple of days as the chicks are bigger and are coming up to the entrance hole to be fed.

Today for the first time I have taken photos of the outside of the box.  The parents are very wary, which is interesting as another pair in a box in the kitchen garden don't seem at all bothered when I am working in there.  I took these photos by hiding in the car with camo net over the window.  This one shows how the chicks look now.  The bolt just above the entrance plate holds the camera and the other holes show where I was adjusting the camera position to try to improve the view.

The chicks' diet is varied but is mostly insects.  The tasting menu starts with ladybird larvae.

Then sunflower seeds from the feeder.

The next course is a damselfly.

Followed by more ladybirds.

It is interesting how early the sparrows started to feed at the entrance - probably helped by the tunnel of nest material that helps the chicks climb up to the hole.  In previous years the blue tits have only done this in the last day or so before fledging.  This is the view inside today.

And finally a video clip from yesterday to show the mayhem.

Regular updates will continue on the "Nestbox camera 2017 page" and I'll post an update here on the main blog when the chicks fledge if I mange to get any photos.  I think there are seven other boxes in the garden with tree sparrow nests, as well as other nests in dead trees in the wood.  Some of the other boxes are already on the second brood.  I'm hoping we'll get a second brood in this box as well.

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