Our Lodges

Nesting Birds

At this time of year many of our birds in the UK are still
nesting. For most species, the nest itself is solely made to hold the bird’s
eggs then the chicks but some species will use the nest site outside the
nesting season as a place to sleep.

Believed to start with the arrival of spring, the bird-nesting
season officially runs from February to August but there are always exceptions
to the rules, with some species falling outside of these timings. As we
approach summer, some birds may have just started nesting while others have
finished or are on their second clutch, so it is a great time for bird spotting
and observing all the different stages the different species are at. For
example, this time of year most tawny owls have already left the nest and can
be seen sitting on branches, in their favourite position which is close to tree
trunks, sleeping the day away. Whereas the swallows, who have been in Africa
all winter, will have been busy working on fattening themselves up since their
return to our shores in April.  The
swallows will be building their nests soon and it is interesting to notice that
all swallow nests look the same, crafted from the mouthfuls of wet mud they
collect which they mix with dry grass, building their nests under rafters of barns
or porches. The mud is expertly crafted into solid cups that stick to their
chosen site and these swallow nests are often used to raise multiple broods
throughout their stay over the British summer.

It is fascinating to think how birds naturally know how, where
and what to build their nests from and that every species builds its nest from
instinct – it is not something they are taught by their parents. As you will
have observed, nests are built in a variety of different materials and come in
all shapes and sizes. Magpies build a nest of twigs with a mud cup, topped with
a roof of twigs in the top of a hawthorn or small trees. Wrens build a round nest
of moss grasses and leaves with a small hole in the middle. In fact the male wren
builds up to six basic nests that the female then inspects to pick the one she
likes best before she finishes the nest. They are normally only a meter or so
from the ground in amongst the ivy on a wall or tree or even in the corner of a
shed.  Then the real miracle happens as
the female wren lays up to nine eggs that take nineteen days to incubate with everything
needed to make a fully functioning bird contained within each egg. The chicks
are tiny and naked but are fed constantly by the parents and fledge the nest
just a couple of weeks later and will be ready to breed at just one year old.
Wrens are third smallest bird in the UK, with on the fire and gold crest
smaller, when fully grown they will only weight the same as a pound coin.

Come and learn more about wildlife at Feadon FarmCall 01209 842354


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