Over the last 2 weeks things have progressed at an alarming rate in the woods. In about 18 days, the newly hatched baby birds develop from being blind, naked and helpless to alert and fully feathered strong “teenage” birds. When you consider that it takes human children around 18 years to reach this stage, it’s pretty impressive! After around 18-21 days the chicks fly from the nest (or fledge) and will remain with the parents for a short time.
As you can see from the picture of box 13, once the chicks are almost fully grown, there isn’t much room left in the box! The Blue tits (blåmejse) who usually their breeding attempts ca. 1 – 2 weeks later than the Great tits are catching up. The majority of our nest boxes are occupied with Great tits, with less than 10% providing homes to Blue tits.
At this time of year it is also possible to capture the adult birds, when they visit the boxes to feed the young birds. Some of the adult birds using the nest boxes this year, are birds which were ringed as chicks in May / June 2013, during the first year of the project.
We are also very busy ringing the chicks, and this means I get to spend a lot of time in the woods, and catch up with our six teams of volunteers. It’s smiles all round as everyone gets to follow closely in the secret lives of birds!
As usual there is a lot more than birds in the woods. If you keep your eyes open, you can see all sorts of things hidden in the undergrowth. Here are some of the things we stumbled upon over the last few days.