Thursday 8th December 2016 – I wonder what happened?

When I was tidying the back garden this weekend, I needed to prune the tree at the end of our garden, and the only way to get to it all, is to stand on the shed roof. I’m not scared of heights, and yes I was very careful. As I was pruning, I noticed nestled tightly in between some of the larger branches was a very small birds nest. I would like to think that it was used this year. It wasn’t there last year, as I prune the tree every year. Then once that was done I then went to investigate the nesting box I have attached to the shed. In the spring there were Great Tits busy going in and out, and I was really hoping for some more babies. The camera is no longer working, so I was waiting to hear the little tweets of babies as the hatched. But something must have gone wrong. The adult birds suddenly disappeared, and I found a wonderful nest, but sadly lots of bird skeletons inside. WARNING!! If you don’t like anything macabre, then please don’t watch. I don’t want anyone to get upset, but I felt that I should show you, as I find it fascinating.

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4 Responses to Thursday 8th December 2016 – I wonder what happened?

  1. NebraskaDave says:

    Claire, fascinating. It is rare that parent birds would abandon their young. They are usually very protective of their babies. It would be interesting to know what happened to cause them to abandon their young.

    Have a great day in the garden. It’s very brrrrr cold here. Way below freezing.

    • The first year I had birds nesting the box got knocked off by a cat, and the adult birds watched as I reattached the box. Once the birds had fledged I screwed the box to the shed so it wouldn’t fall off again. I also put some spikes on top of the shed so the cat couldn’t sit on the roof and scare the birds.

  2. Margaret Buchanan says:

    Hi Claire
    It is bizarre that the parents abandoned the nest, especially when the chicks were a good size. It was a good summer so lack of food would be out of the question. Maybe a cat scared the parents or actually killed them. We will never know. The only time I have found nestlings was a few years ago. We had very severe Spring gales and two chicks were thrown from their nest in a clematis I have growing over an arch onto the path, along with the nest itself. They were a bit bigger than the ones you found. Hopefully next year the nest box will be used again.

    • As you say the summer was good. I don’t think that it was a cat, as they never come into our garden, because they chickens scare them away if they do. I can only guess that one of the adults died and then the other one couldn’t feed all the babies. Having looked fairly thoroughly through the nest I think there were about 6 babies inside. A lot for one adult to keep fed. I hope that next year they’ll return and be more successful.

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