Saturday, 7 April 2012

Nest Building Continues but gets Interrupted.

Mrs Great Tit worked very hard most of yesterday fetching material to build her nest in the camera nest box. For the first time I experimented with a cheap radio microphone to pick up some of the ambient sounds. The microphone listens through a hole in the back wall of the shed about a foot away from the box.

The furious activity came to an abrupt halt about 3.30p.m. when a Sparrowhawk caught a Starling in the back garden. Mrs GT had just left the nest and for a short while I was worried that she had been caught. Once the Sparrowhawk had caught its prey the surrounding birds kicked up a deafening row with their alarm calls. One photo opportunity I missed was when a brave? / silly? / angry? Blackbird dive bombed the raptor.

Sparrowhawk with Starling

I also have video of much of the event which can be seen HERE. The Starling did its best to fight back and for a while the Sparrowhawk had to be very cautious as the Starling tried to attack with that long sharp beak.

Mrs GT didn't return to the nest box yesterday and I wondered if the event would put her off the site so I was relieved to see her visit the box about 7.30 this morning.


  1. Hi John,

    Good to see that the great tits are back in the box :) and I watched the sparrowhawk video- incredible footage there :) The starling didn't appear to give up easily.

    The blackbird probably had a nest nearby or something which cause it to dive-bomb the sparrowhawk. I doubt it would be silly enough to do that otherwise.

    1. You are probably right about the Blackbird. It may well be nesting in the tree just above where the action was taking place.

  2. Excellent footage of the Sprawk and Starling battle John .... unfortunately that needle pointed bill wasn't a suffient defence this time!

  3. Thank you Frank. Not something I enjoy watching but I couldn't resist filming what was going on.

  4. I notice there are lots of blog reports of Sparrowhawks visiting gardens at the moment John, a sign of extra mouths to feed? The video was difficult to watch but testament to the power and ability of the Sparrowhawk that places them at the top of the bird food chain, Linda


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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