Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Tale of the Colonial Nest Box

Last year, as a project, me and my dad built a colonial bird box for House Sparrows which we have in good numbers in and around the garden. It's important to help House Sparrows as although their numbers are more stable now, they declined by 69% in the UK during 1977 -2010 (numbers from the BTO Bird Atlas).

Of course we didn't know how successful the box was going to be, and we couldn't be sure what was going to inhabit it, since there are many other species of bird looking for suitable nest sites in the garden.

The colonial nest box

And guess what, last year the Blue Tits got to it first, despite having plenty of nest boxes in other gardens surrounding ours. Unfortunately the Blue Tits failed there breeding attempt as they kept getting confused as to which hole there actual nest was in, so there was basically half a Blue Tit nest in each of the box segments.

2014 nesters

This year however, I have noticed that the House Sparrows are investigating the box, and I have seen them bringing in feathers and material, so hopefully they have beaten the Blue Tits to it, which is brilliant. The box is right nest to my bedroom window, so you can imagine how much time I spend watching it before school in the morning.  If they nest successfully, I will be able to complete a full BTO nest record for them just by looking out of the window. I will of course be looking for less obvious nests round and about as well.

2015 The House Sparrows got there first

House Sparrows have always been special to me. They were one of the first species that got me hooked on the natural world when I was younger. The family squabbles, but at the same time the need to be together and look out for each other. I really do like House Sparrows.

In between all my revision sessions this weekend, I spent time in the garden keeping an eye on the nest box and satisfying myself the the House Sparrows really are keen to nest there.

Whilst outside me and my mum noticed these strange and unusual clouds drifting in the distance, which I had never seen before. 


After a bit of research we found these are actually called Lenticular clouds and have been mistaken on the past for UFOs!!

Lenticular Clouds

19 comments:

  1. great lenticular clouds! awesome! hope the sparrows take you up on your housing offer this year. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. The clouds are a fascinating formation. Never seen them before. We used to have house Martins nesting near my window as a kid, which goes a long way to explain my obsession with the species

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your clouds are much better than the ones I saw here.
    Good luck with the sparrows hope it's a full house!

    Cheers

    DaveyMan

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good luck with the sparrows Findlay

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beautiful Sparrows and in the box, and I love clouds, superb Findlay.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good luck with the house spuggies and your exams Fin

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hope the House Sparrows rule this year. We used to put nest boxes up in clusters of 3 - one for the blue tits, one for the great tits and a third for others such as pied flies - did it for two years, but I don't think I really know if it worked!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good luck with the sparrows nesting.. The clouds are cool, great captures. Have a happy week!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Let's hope those House Sparrows are successful this year.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I also love Sparrows. They come to the back garden to feed however they come to the front garden into a Holly bush twice a day to have a chat.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a great project! We have no shortage of House Sparrows here. Fabulous cloud shot.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hello Findlay, I am so glad to meet you. It's fantastic that you are so keenly aware of the natural world around you at this young age and want to help preserve it. I know how you felt when you saw the House Sparrows inspecting your nest. I raised milkweed last spring to help with the monarch butterfly migration. It was an incredible feeling each time a monarch eclosed. At least 28 monarch butterflies eclosed from our garden successfully. You can visit my blog at -- http://cedarmerefarm.blogspot.com/2014/09/they-are-here.html -- if you are curious about my project. I am your new follower from the US. Christa

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello Findlay, I am so glad to meet you. It's fantastic that you are so keenly aware of the natural world around you at this young age and want to help preserve it. I know how you felt when you saw the House Sparrows inspecting your nest. I raised milkweed last spring to help with the monarch butterfly migration. It was an incredible feeling each time a monarch eclosed. At least 28 monarch butterflies eclosed from our garden successfully. You can visit my blog at -- http://cedarmerefarm.blogspot.com/2014/09/they-are-here.html -- if you are curious about my project. I am your new follower from the US. Christa

    ReplyDelete
  14. Looks like you are going to get a good result with the House Sparrow box. Good observations on how the Blue Tits couldn't work it out.

    Great pictures of the UFO.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Looks like you are going to get a good result with the House Sparrow box. Good observations on how the Blue Tits couldn't work it out.

    Great pictures of the UFO.

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a great project !
    Beautiful apartments for birds !
    Greetings

    ReplyDelete
  17. Good luck with the Sparrows Fin, I saw the same clouds when I was driving home down the M56, nearly run up the back of the car in front as I was looking at them too much!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love that you have a tender spot in your heart for the house sparrows. We have them in abundance (including in my yard!) and many people ignore them. I think they are wonderful little birds, and I am glad their numbers are again increasing in the UK. Love your nesting box! The blue tits were adorable occupants last year, and now this year you have some house sparrows as neighbors! Wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a fantastic post! Every year we have a pair of Blue Tits nesting in a hole where an overflow pipe for an old loft based water tank used to protrude from the house. I would like to do more to encourage more birds to nest in our gardens as my three year old daughter has a fascination with them. She loves to watch the sparrows and other small birds come and 'peck peck' her bird feeders.

    ReplyDelete