THE BIRD BOX CAMERA - 2001 - page 3

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   7 May - day 7

The wing feathers are developing now and the chicks are able to reach up much higher out of the nest cup.

Their eyes don't appear to be very far open, especially in the case of the chick on the left which is facing the wrong way for a feed!

   7 May

Just about impossible to fully cover her brood now!

   8 May - day 8

Getting rather crowded!
   8 May

Mother insists on another vigourous nest cup enlargement.

Meanwhile, the chick behind her tail is using its rapidly developing wing to pull itself out of the nest cup and out of her way.

  8 May

At 11pm, it was noticed that the view from the top camera was nothing but nest material, as though an intruder had called!

A quick check (see pic.) revealed that there was still some sign of life..........
   11 May - day 11

On the morning of 9 May, the parents threw the extraneous nest material straight out of the box - odd that they did not remove it some distance away as they did with the droppings.

Seen two days later, one of the four remaining chicks is exercising its wings.

   11 May

After 11pm, another new load of nest material had arrived, this time however there was no movement. In the morning it was confirmed that all the chicks had gone.

12 May - all the new material above was removed, but by dusk it was noticed that it had been added to again! We suspect that a larger bird is trying to take the nest over - we've yet to spot what it is.

The problem may be that the hole in the box is 1.75 inches, intended to attract blackbirds. However, perhaps the hole should have been reduced when it became clear that the box was popular with smaller birds.

21 May - the intruder never returned so I cleaned out the box, and reduced the hole size. There is the possibility of the box being used for a second brood during the summer, if not, it'll be 'that's all folks' until next year!