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Open Nest Monitoring

Sunday, June 7th 2020

There are many species of birds that don't use nest boxes and monitoring their success for conservation is a much more time consuming task. One of the ringers devotes a great deal of effort to this and is an expert at finding and identifying their nests. Here are some of his photographs from this year's breeding season. First a Blackcap nest. They are one of a group of birds known as scrub warblers, due to their preference for nesting in scrubby bushes. Brambles are a common place for Blackcaps to nest.

Linnets build neat, bowl-shaped nests, often in gorse bushes or in hedgerows.

Reedbuntings nest in amongst the reeds and build their homes from grasses.

Below is the same nest but once the chicks have hatched and are old enough to be ringed.

Whitethroats construct a nest cup of fine twigs and grass, lined with finer grass and roots, and hair is built low down in a shrub by both birds. The eggs are white or creamy-white with sparse blotches of grey or olive, smooth and glossy, and about 17 mm by 13 mm. The male and female take turns incubating the eggs, and both adults feed the young. 

The Yellowhammer typically builds its nest on or very near the ground, and in a tuft of vegetation or close to, or just in, a bush or hedgerow. The nest is a cup of grass, plant stems, then lined with fine plant material or hair. 

Out thanks to Jack for sharing his photos. All of the information collected is submitted to the BTO for their Nest Record Scheme. Their data are used to assess the impacts that changes in the environment, such as habitat loss and global warming, have on the number of fledglings that birds can rear.

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Undergrowth Newsletter Winter 2020/21 Issue 54

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