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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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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

 

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A Photo a Week Challenge

A Photo a Week Challenge: Babies

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.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Babies

 

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 Photo a Week Challenge: Babies

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One Word Sunday

Home

This female Common Merganser has made a section of the Colpoy’s Bay shoreline her home since arriving in the spring. She found a mate and raised a brood of young, one of which is riding on her back.

The young have to grow big and strong enough to head south for the winter before Colpoy’s Bay freezes over.

This is my take on the One Word Sunday challenge Home.

One Word Sunday: Home

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Monthly Squares

October Squares: Raindrop Lines

This is my contribution for day 26 of Becky’s October Squares: Lines photo challenge.

A young male Rose-breasted Grosbeak in the rain on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.

October Squares: Raindrop Lines