11 May 2010

Battle of the boxes

I am operating a Pied Flycatcher RAS project at a particularly good wood near Presteigne, Powys, and yesterday (10 May) I made my first full inspection of the 88 boxes there, with my new ringing trainee. He looked in one box and said “There seem to be two birds in here, one dead”! I took a look, and saw a brooding Great Tit apparently cuddled up to a dead Pied Flycatcher. Upon removing the flycatcher, without disturbing the tit, I found that it was a ringed male, T600924. I ringed it as a breeding male, age code 6 (adult), in another box 50-75 yards away, on 3rd June last year.

I presume it got into conflict with the Great Tit, and lost (and in such a case my money would generally be on the tit). This is the second year I have had such an event. Last year I was clearing out a Great Tit’s nest after the young had fledged in another wood, and felt a hard lump under the nest material. This turned out to be a dead 5 (Juvenile) male Pied Flycatcher, ring number T600535, which I had ringed as a nestling in that wood in 2008.

Posted on behalf of David Coker. Photo from Dick Jeeves.

1 comment:

  1. In my experience a PIEFL v GRETI bout also ended in a 'to the death' victory by the tit. That too was in Wales.