Friday, 15 April 2011

Blue tits in a sparrow terrace

When I put up this sparrow terrace (a row of three nestboxes in one), the idea was to encourage house sparrows to nest, but in fact it's only been used for nesting by sparrows once.  Within a very short time after I put it up, blue tits had moved in, and mostly since then, it's always been occupied by the tits.

For the past few days, I've been watching the female blue tit ferrying nesting material to the nest box and finally thought to take a photograph.  The fact that she's taking in feathers now, rather than moss and grass, suggests the nest is nearly finished, as the softer stuff is used to line the nest bowl and make it more comfortable.

The male is in much closer attendance now, too.  When the female dives into the box with nesting material, the male lands in nearby bamboo or a silver birch tree and waits until she reappears.  Then he follows her to wherever she goes for the next load.

What I'm not sure about is what else is nesting in the garden, apart from the blackbirds.  There are a couple of dunnock, which are likely nesting nearby, but I've not found the nest, ditto robins and great tits.  And I've not seen any evidence the house sparrows are actually nesting, though I've yet to spend much time on that.

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