Early Nest Boxes

Saturday, April 22nd 2017

After visiting the nest boxes at a new site and finding chicks large enough to be ringed, the start of checking the large boxes at Foxglove and on the training area was brought forward. The bird ringers are well versed in organising maps, books and pencils, rings and ringing pliers, ladders and net.  They go about examining each box with skill and care.

Checking a large nest box

Checking a large nest box

Sometimes the adult Tawny Owls have already been ringed and when their history is looked up in IPMR we find that they have nested in the same box for several years. Some are new and receive their ring.

Adult Tawny Owl

Most birds of prey start to incubate their eggs as soon as the first is laid, so there a spread of ages in a brood of young.  This is a survival strategy.  If weather conditions and or food is poor then the youngest and smallest do not survive.  It is Darwin's survival of the fittest in action. In this nest these young all look well fed.

Owlets

Detailed notes are recorded, including a date for a return visit if the chicks were not big enough to ring.  This is the start of a lot of hard work for the bird ringers over the coming weeks.


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