30 March 2010

Say it with flowers!

Despite the cold winter and recent wet weather, birds are still making good progress with their nests and romance is obviously in the air. Nest recorder Frank Mawby recently watched a male Starling carrying a purple crocus flower to its nest. While we can’t rule out the possibility that he had forgotten an important anniversary, previous studies have suggested that Starlings are adept at using herbal remedies to combat parasite infestations in the nest, often incorporating vegetation in the lining.

Long-tailed Tits seem to have been less affected by the cold winter than many of us feared - here at The Nunnery most have now built their beautiful lichen and spider web nests and are in the process of lining them with feathers. ‘Our’ Song Thrushes and Blackbirds are just starting to lay, but the first reports of chicks are starting to arrive and many Robins are now busy feeding their broods.

With so much happening, it’s a great time to be out looking for nests. If you’ve found one, get in touch with us at nrs@bto.org and we’ll send you a Nest Record Scheme Starter Pack so that you can monitor it, or you can go on-line to take part in Nest Box Challenge www.bto.org/nbc.

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