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Throwback Thursday

Flying the Nest

Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire on the 3rd June 1987. Yes I know I’m a day late.

This is the end of the story of the nesting Eurasian Blue Tits photographed using a specially constructed nestbox in a Cheshire garden. The previous two Throwback Thursday posts were also detailing this nestbox.

 

Throwback Thursday: 4th June 2020

The ninth young Eurasian Blue Tit about to take its first flight leaving just two young in the nest.

 

Throwback Thursday: 4th June 2020

The eleventh youngster couldn’t get up the nerve to leave and spent the day in the nestbox being fed by an adult occasionally. The following morning one of the adults was outside calling to encourage it to leave, which it did.

 

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Archives

Keeping the nest clean

This is a follow-up of sorts to my Throwback Thursday post yesterday. That showed how cramped it was getting inside this nestbox.

After posting it occurred to me that I should post a photo showing how the adults keep the nest clean. While in the nest the young produce fecal sacs. These are droppings encased in a gelatinous sac allowing the adults to carry it out of the nestbox and drop it some distance away.

The young stick their bottoms in the air as a sign to an adult that they’re about to produce one.

Interestingly, when I captioned the slides in 1987 the reference books I used spelled it as faecal sac but the accepted spelling nowadays is fecal.

Keeping the nest clean

 

Categories
Throwback Thursday

It’s getting cramped in the nestbox

Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire in the spring of 1987 as I continue the story of the nesting Eurasian Blue Tits. Photographed using a specially constructed nestbox in a Hatherton garden.

The young are almost fully grown and will be leaving the nestbox in a few days. Here one of the adults is about to feed a green caterpillar to one of the young.

Throwback Thursday: 28th May 2020

 

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Weekly Prompts

Weekend Challenge: Story

This is my contribution to the Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Story.

I thought of the story of a pair of Eurasian Blue Tits nesting in a nestbox in Cheshire. In 1987 I documented the complete nesting cycle of a pair of Eurasian Blue Tits using a specially constructed nestbox built into a garden shed in a Hatherton garden.

Having digitised all the nestbox slides last winter I had lots of photos to pick from so I decided to limit myself to four photos illustrating key points of the nesting cycle.

 

Weekly Prompts Weekend Challenge: Story

One of the adults lining the nest with a feather prior to the start of egg laying.

 

One Word Sunday: Company

The male feeding the female during incubation.

 

Weekly Prompts: Story

An adult feeding one of the young.

 

Weekly Prompts: Story

Close to leaving, one of the young at the entrance hole exercising its wings.

 

Categories
Throwback Thursday

Keeping the young warm

Throwback Thursday travels back to a garden shed in Hatherton, Cheshire in the spring of 1987.

I was documenting the nesting cycle of a pair of Eurasian Blue Tits using a specially constructed nestbox built into a garden shed.

At this point all the eggs have hatched but the young are still small and naked. As a result, on cool mornings the female stays on the nest keeping them warm while the male feeds them.

In this photo the female has moved off the nest so that the male can feed a caterpillar to one of the young.

Throwback Thursday: 21st May 2020

 

Categories
One Word Sunday

Company

This is my contribution to the One Word Sunday prompt Company.

I had a couple of ideas for the challenge before thinking about it being spring in the northern hemisphere and that lots of species are in the process of breeding.

In this case the female Eurasian Blue Tit will spend approximately 14 days incubating the eggs while being kept company by the male who regularly brings her food.

One Word Sunday: Company

 

Categories
Cosmic Photo Challenge

Cosmic Photo Challenge: Inside

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.

 

Cosmic Photo Challenge: Inside

An adult Eurasian Blue Tit feeding young. The adult has an unidentified insect in its bill.

 

Cosmic Photo Challenge: Inside

A male House Sparrow feeding young.

 

Cosmic Photo Challenge: Inside

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.