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.
The new Weekly Prompt Photo Challenge is Old and New.
I had a few ideas for the challenge before thinking of some of my nestbox shots of adults feeding young.
This shot is quite a rare event with two adults in the nestbox together, normally there’s only a single adult in the nestbox once they’re feeding young. Taken using a specially constructed nestbox in Cheshire, England.
Two adult Eurasian Blue Tit feeding recently hatched young.
After the last young Eurasian Blue Tit left the nest I started checking the nestbox in the early morning and late evening. I was checking to see if any of the birds returned to use the nestbox as an overnight roost site.
This is what I saw 48 hours after the last youngster left. Those are Bird Fleas on the sides of the nestbox. I spent the rest of the day itchy, psychological as I never found a Flea or bite on me.
The eleventh youngster in the nestbox wasn’t ready to leave. All its siblings have left and are being fed and taught to survive by the adults. At times I could hear one of the adults calling to encourage the youngster out of the nestbox but it wasn’t leaving. Despite having ten young to look after the adults would still bring in a caterpillar occasionally for the one left behind.
I checked that the youngster was still in the nestbox several times during the day and it was still there that night. I got up the following morning and the nestbox was empty. The bird must have left the nestbox as soon as there was some light in the sky.
It would occasionally get up at the entrance hole but wouldn’t leave the nestbox.
It’s time for the young to leave the nestbox. I watched and photographed as the young left one by one. Ten of the eleven young left over the space of about 90 minutes. The eleventh youngster will be the subject of the next post in this story.
The fourth youngster leaves the nestbox.
The ninth youngster leaves.