Bird Nesting Season April-May 2011

As expected the chicks fledged today, their 21st day since hatching. By 8am there was no sight of them in the nest or in the garden. Of course it had been bright since probably 5am so they got an early start to their first day in the great outdoors.

23.5.2011 Chicks are virtually ready to leave the nest. Very windy today for the visit of Pres. Obama. Tomorrow will be their 20th day and it may be their first outside the safety of the nest

20.5.2011 16 days old and the chicks are growing up fast, in fact they’re already nearly as big as the adults Looks like there are eight chicks which means all eggs hatched out and that all have survived. They are now getting ready to fly the nest: plenty of wing flapping and feather preening going on. By this time next week they should be gone out into the big bad world.

16.5.2011 Chicks still doing very well. Still seems to be 7/8 in the nest and parents in with food regularly in spite of cold, windy weather all weekend. The next few days will be vital as the chicks now need a lot of food to build them up before flying the nest next week. If there is a lack of food then only the strongest chicks will survive.
13.5.2011 Friday 13th hopefully won’t be unlucky for our chicks. We can clearly see eight beaks begging for food when the adults come in. They are now ten days old and have grown quickly in size and are about four times the size they were when they hatched. Another ten days should see them ready to leave the nest (fledge). Here we can see one of the adults with a caterpillar to feed the chicks with.

9.5.2011 All is going well in the nest. Parents becoming more active with very frequent feeding as the chicks start to get bigger.. We’re lucky to have escaped the really wet weather.

6.5.2011 Hard to see how many chicks we have but there seems to be a large number. It’s possible all eight eggs have hatched. Plenty of activity with both parents bringing in food although the female spends most of her time keeping the chicks warm. The bay tree in the garden, one of the largest bay trees in Ireland, seems to be a good source of food as I have seen the parents looking for food (insects, caterpillars, etc.) on it’s leaves.

4.5.2011 Today the blutit chicks started hatching from the eggs. The picture on the whiteboard isn’t great but we can clearly see some wriggling going on in the nest under the female. Hard to say how many chicks there are but there are two devoted parents with the male dropping in and out regularly with food and the female staying in the nest keeping the chicks warm.

3.5.2011 First day back at school after the Easter break and it seems as though there are eight eggs in the nest. The female sat on the eggs most of the day and the male popped in once or twice with food. Hatching must be pretty close now
29.4.2011 I checked on the nestbox today and all seems well. I was in the school for an hour or two and the female was sitting on the eggs for all of that time except for popping out for one short break. The picture isn’t great but I could make out at least six eggs when she popped out. With the first egg laid on Weds 13th this would make the last one laid on Monday 18th so the eggs should hatch out around Monday next (2nd May). Then the big job of feeding them will start which will require both parents working flat out to find caterpillars, insects, spiders, etc. A smaller clutch of six means the chicks will have a better chance of survival as sometimes there can be as many as ten or twelve hatchlings. No sign of the male today. It would have been good news if he had dropped some food in for the female. If he has deserted her or something has happened to him it’s unlikely that the female could raise the young on her own.

14.4.2011 Great news in that we have the first eggs in our school nestbox after four years. Yesterday morning there was a big cheer in the classroom when we all saw the first egg. This morning there was a second and this should continue on a daily basis until the female has a total of up to ten eggs laid. Then she will start incubating (sitting on) the eggs. During this time the female will only rarely leave the nest (maybe for a quick “comfort” break!!) as the male will bring her food regularly. After about 14 days all the chicks should hatch on the same day. This should be around the end of the first week in May when insects, caterpillars, etc should be plentiful.
When the chicks hatch they are naked and blind and it takes about three weeks of frenzied feeding by both parents before they are ready to leave the nest (fledge). By then they can be actually bigger than the adults. After that the parents still feed them as they gradually become more independent. Here’s hoping all goes according to plan. Bad weather, cats, bigger birds like magpies or accidents can intervene and lead to a failure of the nest.

Bluetit nestbuilding

Bluetits at the Nestbox

4.4.2011 A pair of bluetits have set up home in our nestbox. Here’s hoping for a happy family in a few weeks time.

Click above to watch eight different nests in Holland. LIVE
Click here to watch an osprey’s nest in Scotland. Info here.
Owls in the USA
Storks near Munich
Flycatchers in California
Falcons in Rome LIVE
Nestbox in Cork
Nestbox in Surrey
Nestbox in Hampshire
More Nests

Greattit Nestbox in Tyrone LIVE
(7 chicks fledged 20 days old 22.5.11)
RTE Mooney Bluetit camera LIVE
(7 chicks fledged 20 days old 21.5.11)
Now a swallow’s nest on this link
Falcons in Ohio LIVE

Rare Black storks in Estonia (Media Player) LIVE
Info here. Some of these storks have tracking devices and this map shows their migration from Africa.

Black Eagles in Estonia (Opens Media player)

White Storks

Black Storks in Belguim

Large amount of food brought by the female from asbl Solon on Vimeo.

Astronomy: Explore the Solar System