Thursday, June 11th 2020
Nestbox monitoring for 2020 is coming to an end and it has been a very busy few weeks for the Swaledale Bird Ringers. Locally, Kestrels have had a productive season with over seventy eggs found in total in the large boxes. Nearly all of these hatched and the chicks have developed well.
Broods have varied in size from three to six. The inside of the box is never particularly cosy with little nest material and plenty of muck!
Some of the chicks are already growing their primary and tail feathers and the new brown colour is beginning to show through their white down.
The five hundred or so small nest boxes have all been visited now too. Pied Flycatchers have had a successful year with well over one hundred chicks being ringed.
Many of these chicks are almost ready to fledge.
The nestling period for this species is around sixteen days. The Pied flycatcher also plays a role in monitoring climate change, by when they decide to nest. Records show that they now nest two weeks earlier than they did in the 1950s.
In a few boxes Nuthatches were recorded. These chicks are unusual in that they can be sexed from very early on as the males and females have different coloured plumage. The one shown here is a female with a pale brown underside.
The males have a chocolate brown colour instead and are generally darker in appearance.
The Blue Tits and Great Tits have almost all fledged now and several of the birds that were ringed in the Foxglove nest boxes were caught on Tuesday in the mist nets during CES 4. The final boxes that are part of the Adopt-a-Box scheme were checked today. Thank you to all of the supporters of this; sponsors will receive a letter with the results shortly. If you would like to sponsor a box from as little as £5 per year, please get in touch.
CES 4 was a busy ringing day with over 300 birds being processed. The day was made a lot easier by all of the hard work put in by staff and volunteers to maintain the net rides. Thank you to all involved in this long term project which is in its twenty-eighth year!
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