Thursday, 28 May 2009

Empty nest

My son made this nest box for an environmental project way back in Year 8 and every year since a family of Great Tits have raised a family inside.  For the past few weeks we have been able to hear the chicks inside and last weekend I took these pictures of the parent feeding the young.

Unlike Blue Tits, the Great Tits only have one brood a year, timed to coincide with the availability of a particular caterpillar that feeds on young oak leaves. It was difficult with my camera to get close enough to the box to take photos without frightening away the parent birds.  The pictures won't be very sharp if you click to enlarge but in the one below you can just see the youngster's beak wide open to receive a meal.

On Tuesday afternoon I noticed that the garden was very quiet, the birds had fledged and I'd missed it.  Often once they've left the box we don't see the birds again, perhaps they venture into the woods, but this morning I could see the family in the garden, the young birds still being fed by their parents.  Difficult to count them as they were all flitting about but at least four or five babies from this brood. I wonder how many other nest boxes from this school project are still providing nesting sites in the village.


Heather L. said...

How nice to watch a family grow like that! We are so glad that birds have finally found our birdfeeder. And, we've had hummingbirds at the h.b. feeder already! I think having a garden right next to the birdfeeder is also helping -- they love the dirt.

Simply Authentic said...

Wow! What a wonderful experience to be able to watch that every year. And how neat for your son to see benefits from the fruits of his labor. The pictures on the side bar and of the yellow are gorgeous as always! Hope you've been well!