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Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Curious goings on....

It all started yesterday afternoon when I'd come home from work and from the office window noticed the Great Spotted Woodpecker at the entrance of the nest box where the blue tits currently have young and he really seemed to be harrassing them. Then one of the adult Blue Tits tried to see it off and there was a right old commotion. I went outside at this point and then there was no sign of the Woodpecker.

Even more curious was only this afternoon discovering that part of the nest was lying at the foot of the Walnut tree below the nest box and yet the Blue Tit parents were still going in and out of the box - the young still in the box as you could hear the cheaping.


Has anyone come across this kind of goings on before - not quite sure what to make of it and obviously a bit concerned... any thoughts on this would be much appreciated..

9 comments:

Gail said...

This is a curious case! I hope someone can answer the questions. Our woodpeckes go after insects on the siding of the house (carpenter bees) not other birds! Gail

easygardener said...

I suspect a Woodpecker attacked my Blue Tit box last year - the entrance hole was enlarged and nesting material was pulled out.No proof, only a strong suspicion.
You have some dedicated BT parents in your garden!
Bought one of those new boxes made of wood dust and concrete for this year. Should blunt its beak :-)

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Gail - well like you I'd never have thought of the Woodpecker as an aggressive bird towards others... the plot thickens! Hope you're well and not enduring the wet week we are here in Brittany :-(

Hi Easygardener - that's really interesting what you're saying about the size of the nesting hole as earlier in the season when the nuthatches were showing an interest in the box I put the slightly large entrance hole on the front as the box has interchangeable fronts... the B tits have nested in there every year and I've never had this issue before so I'll be putting the smaller hole on the front for next year. No more upsets today but interesting you suspected the same problems... watch this space... take care - Miranda

Cheryl said...

Hi Miranda.....woodpeckers will take young birds to feed to their chicks but they would have to be very young........you are right to be concerned....
I do hope woody leaves them alone........

Miranda Bell said...

Dear Cheryl - thank you so much for the info - now I feel awful - obviously without a camera in the box I've no idea if any of them were taken - there are definitely still babies in there as the parents are still feeding and luckily no more disturbance or any more nest removed from the box - so here's hoping that none of them were harmed... hope you have a good weekend Miranda

shirl said...

Hi again Miranda,

Yes, I might be concerned too. I have seen this with Starlings at our nestbox and watched the female inside sticking up for the young. Quite fiesty she was too. For some reason even without the parent in the nestbox to protect them the chicks did know to hide deep in the nestcup. Good luck with your young 'uns :-D

A wildlife gardener said...

Larger birds often harry the nests of smaller birds...jungle law and all that.

I have observed over the years that blue tits have lots of young ...and they lose lots of their young to predators every year, in my experience. I suppose this is Nature's way of keeping the numbers in balance. But it's always sad to see it at close quarters.

Joe said...

Hi Miranda,

Interesting story here. I have never seen anything attack any of our nestboxes.

Those Blue Tits really are determined to feed their chicks despite the disturbance.

Miranda Bell said...

Sorry it's been SO long since you posted...

Hi Shirl - hope you're having a good weekend... thanks for your encouragement the day that we lost the Swallow - do see my latest posting for an update!

Hi Wildlife Gardener - so it would seem but as you say hard to see but all's well in the end if you see the latest posting!

Hi Joe - thanks for visiting - as you'll see from my latest posting the Blue Tit parents had done a fantastic job and well - I'll let you read the posting...

Enjoy the rest of the weekend - Miranda