Having spent a lot of my spare time digitising my slide archives over the winter the Cosmic Photo Challenge: Inside was rather well timed.
I now have digital copies of most of the nestbox interiors documenting the nesting cycle of various hole nesting species. So here’s the inside of three different nestboxes and three different species using them.
An adult Eurasian Blue Tit feeding young. The adult has an unidentified insect in its bill.
A male House Sparrow feeding young.
Juvenile Great Tits begging for food having just heard an adult land at the nestbox entrance hole. Occasionally the adults will take a break from the constant feeding to feed themselves and do some feather maintenance. As a result, all the young are hungry when feeding resumes.
On reading the prompt for One Word Sunday: Speciality I had a couple of ideas for a post.
In the end I went with a specially designed nestbox and electronic flash that allowed me to document the nesting cycle of various bird species that use nestboxes. This meant that I could observe and record some interesting behaviour.
In this photo one of the adult Eurasian Blue Tits, I’d say that it’s the female, brings in some moss for the nest. The way the nest is being built shows that one adult has a preference for moss while the other has a preference for dry grass.
In this photo the male is feeding the female during incubation. Observation showed that the male always stood on the right side of the nest when feeding the female and the young when they were small.
My contribution to the A Photo a Week Challenge is two photos this week. The prompt is Babies which got me thinking about bird species with young.
That made me think of two very different species that nest in tree cavities and will also use nest boxes.
This is a Common Merganser, a larger species of duck that needs a large tree cavity or nestbox. As soon as the eggs hatch the female carries the young to the water in her bill.
These are Eurasian Blue Tits. There are two adults feeding recently hatched young in a nestbox. Unlike the Common Merganser these young are born naked. It will be approximately 21 days before they have grown flight feathers and can leave the nestbox.
A contribution to Becky’s July Squares: Blue photo challenge.
Having posted a grumpy Great Blue Heron as part of the challenge it didn’t occur to me how many birds there are with blue in their common English names until writing this post. Expect to see a few more bird species before the end of the month.
An adult Eurasian Blue Tit feeding young with a caterpillar. When the photo was taken they were simply Blue Tits and they had a different scientific name.
Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire, England in May 1987.
Having documented the complete nesting cycle of a pair of Eurasian Blue Tit it’s now almost time for the young to be leaving the nestbox. It’s getting increasingly cramped and difficult for the adults to find somewhere to stand when feeding the young.
Throwback Thursday is a follow-up to last Tuesdays post.
Another shot of an adult Great Tit (Parus major) feeding recently hatched young. Taken using a specially constructed nestbox in Cheshire, England in the late 1980s.
One from the archives taken in Cheshire in the late 1980s.
Having documented the complete nesting cycle of a pair of Eurasian Blue Tits in 1987 I went on to photograph other species in different nestboxes over the next couple of years.
Here an adult Great Tit (Parus major) is about to feed some recently hatched young with a small yellow green caterpillar. While it looks as if the bird is looking at the camera it was just the timing of the shot. It was dark inside the nestbox, I was releasing the shutter a second or two after hearing an adult land at the entrance hole.