I do know what species of Wren this is but as it’s Throwback Thursday it gives me an opportunity to illustrate a problem captioning certain photos.
The photo was taken in Cheshire, England in the 1980s. In those days most British field guides gave the common English name as Wren. A few would call it a Winter Wren as it was classified as the same species as the North American Winter Wren.
However, over the past couple of decades scientists have been DNA testing lots of species which has resulted in quite a few being reclassified. What was a Wren or Winter Wren in Britain is now a separate species, the Eurasian Wren. The North American Winter Wren has been split into two species. It’s still the Winter Wren in central and eastern North America but the birds down the west coast are now called the Pacific Wren.
To make matters even more complicated the splitting of the various species means new scientific names for some. As my standard photo caption includes both the common English name and the scientific name it means that quite a high percentage of the birds I have on film now have inaccurate captions written on the slide mounts.
So to the photo. It shows an adult Eurasian Wren emerging from a nestbox. An unusual nest site for the species which normally prefers to build a nest hidden in vegetation.
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.
The young are getting close to leaving the nest. They’ve been getting up to the nestbox entrance hole and looking outside. At this point they will leave any day now and as they normally leave the nestbox as soon as there’s enough daylight for them to see I’ve got my alarm clock set to be at the nestbox half an hour before sunrise.
They’re also exercising their wings in preparation for flying the nest. This doesn’t go down well with their brothers and sisters at times.
It’s not getting any easier for the adults to find somewhere to stand when feeding the young. In this photo one of the adults is hanging from the nestbox entrance hole when feeding them.
The young are getting bigger, it’s hard for the adults to find somewhere to stand when feeding them.
The young Eurasian Blue Tits are growing fast, their feathers develop quickly and the birds are getting bigger, they’re starting to fill the nestbox.
In this photo one of the adults is about to enter the nestbox with another caterpillar for the young.
I count nine young in this shot so some are hidden.