Nesting news

Sat 12th May 2012

Well we’ve finally got some fine weather. That’s good news for us and for the birds who can find it hard to keep their young fed when it rains day after day. Before I come on to that let’s talk about what’s been going on in our wood. It’s looking so good with all the bluebells coming up, the leaves coming out and the grass growing once more. It’s wonderful when everything comes to life again after the winter.

The young tawny owls have flown the nest but the sad news is that only two made it. The second piece of news about them is that there were actually five chicks in the nesting box not just the three we had seen. When you are filming with a camera in a box you can’t see so well looking down three feet, so when the chicks where very small we couldn’t see them all.  It was only when Billy, my granddaughter’s partner, went up and cleaned out the nest that he discovered the remains of the other small chicks that had been eaten.

I believe it was all down to the weather. I know there was plenty of food to go round when the chicks first hatched because when the owl came out of the nest we could see about ten mice in the bottom of the box. That was during that long warm spell when everybody was praying for rain. When it did come it was at the wrong time for the owls as they can’t fly when it rains hard, as it did for a week with hardly a break. When there’s not enough food for the growing chicks it is the way of nature that the small chicks get eaten by the big chicks. We call it ‘survival of the fittest’. It seems hard to us humans but otherwise all the babies would die. Anyway, the main thing is that two of the young owls flew the nest and that is wonderful news.

 My other news for this week is that we’ve got two lots of blue tits in our nesting boxes near the new tree hide. One has got just one egg in it but the other one has got ten eggs. I’ve seen a blue tit’s nest with nine eggs in before but ten really is a lot. I would guess that we’ll see six chicks fly the nest from that brood but I’ll be letting you lovely people know how things go on.

Next time I have something completely different to tell you about. If you want a clue then have a glance at my home page to find out what I’m up to this weekend.