Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Just in case you didn't believe me that the birds have been visiting the inside of the nest box....

Ten minutes or so after the "Tail" video below, at about 09:30 this morning - look what happened next!

You'll note there are clear differences between the sexes at the moment. I'm not sure how permanent that will be, and I'm not sure (as yet) which is the male and which is the female.

I assume the bird with the cleaner, more pronounced cap is the male, and the bird with the slightly scrappier cap is the female - though I can't be 100% on that just yet. Male Blue Tits (its said) have bolder, brighter blue caps. Add to that the fact that a "swap-over" (very well documented Blue Tit behaviour) seems to be occurring in the video above. This is where the male will enter the box first (often) and as SOON as the female enters, the male is outta there...

If you really listen closely, after the female has joined the male in the box, (relatively near the end of the clip), she makes two harsh noises at him, (not at all sweet peeping noises), as if to tell him to get lost briefly. He imediately obliges.... the hen-pecked old devil.

You'll also note that a piece of wood shaving is passed out of the box. Normal behaviour there too. I'm not sure how much of the wood shavings will be left if and when and nest is started to be built.

This video, a little under 2 minutes will be the longest I'll EVER upload I think - its taken me virtually an HOUR to upload this!

Please enjoy though!

I'm over the moon!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your message. Brilliant film - really clear. Am I right in thinking that the entrance hole is at the top of the screen? It's funny I have been watching the same behaviour on Shirls Gardenwatch blog up in Perthshire... funny that the same thing is happening at different ends of the country. Well done again.. I bet you are really chuffed (I would be!). Look forward to watching the story unfold. Roll on Spring! Jane

The Black Rabbit said...

Cheers Jane.
My Uncle is in Perthshire (and my Dad in Fife).
I should really ask them what's happening up there!
And yes - you are right - the entrance hole is at the top of the screen (unseen).
Cannot WAIT for spring!

shirl said...

Hi there :-)

As Jane has said above I do have the same going on with my nestbox :-D

Funny thing is though I believe I have had a pair visiting during the day but a different female roosting at night. The rooster has been in residence since the end of October - now that's forward planning :-D

I've got a few videos too if you are interested in seeing them. However, after repairing a leak in our roof recently I emptied the very wet layer of shavings and replaced it with a thinner layer. I was then able to observe that the female was removing her droppings! She would do this mid to late morning and then enjoy the rest of her day :-D

I suspect that perhaps you have too thick a layer of shavings as we had? Maybe not – just a thought :-D

How do I know the females are different? I have noticed they have different markings round the neck! I'll post on that soon :-D