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Old Sunday 14th May 2017, 19:14   #26
birdmeister
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
Update on the fight for the nest box.

There is now no sign of the Great Tits which had a substantial part of the nest material already inside the box. The male Pied Flycatcher is now sitting just a couple of metres from the box on the edge of the forest, singing. This is his usual spot, could he have userped the box, is it feasible that he's out musceld a pair of Great Tits cos it looks like that at the moment?

The second box is now in position.


A
I'm not sure how aggressive/strong your Great Tits are, but the chickadees in my yard are pretty timid. Last spring, a pair of chickadees (Perhaps Carolina, but I think we're on the southern edge of the Black-capped hybrid zone) came in the afternoon for several days and put a good amount of moss in our box. Then a pair of Tree Swallows moved in and put a layer of grass on top of the moss. Finally, a pair of Eastern Bluebirds placed a layer of mostly pine needles on top of the grass and moss. It was a three-layer, three-color nest! The bluebirds ended up rearing a (I think, I had to be out of town) successful brood. I don't recall any resistance from the chickadees, but if there was it was minimal.

This year the chickadees checked out the box a bit and were somewhat aggressive with the Tree Swallows, but now we have a swallow nest and no sign of the chickadees at the box.

I have no experience with Pied Flycatchers, but I imagine that they are strong enough to oust the Great Tits. Quite a feat for one bird to accomplish, though, I would expect it had its hands... er, wings... full.
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Old Sunday 14th May 2017, 20:24   #27
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I'm not sure how aggressive/strong your Great Tits are, but the chickadees in my yard are pretty timid. Last spring, a pair of chickadees (Perhaps Carolina, but I think we're on the southern edge of the Black-capped hybrid zone) came in the afternoon for several days and put a good amount of moss in our box. Then a pair of Tree Swallows moved in and put a layer of grass on top of the moss. Finally, a pair of Eastern Bluebirds placed a layer of mostly pine needles on top of the grass and moss. It was a three-layer, three-color nest! The bluebirds ended up rearing a (I think, I had to be out of town) successful brood. I don't recall any resistance from the chickadees, but if there was it was minimal.

This year the chickadees checked out the box a bit and were somewhat aggressive with the Tree Swallows, but now we have a swallow nest and no sign of the chickadees at the box.

I have no experience with Pied Flycatchers, but I imagine that they are strong enough to oust the Great Tits. Quite a feat for one bird to accomplish, though, I would expect it had its hands... er, wings... full.
The Poecile chickadees (Black-capped & Carolina, and also Willow Tit and Marsh Tit over here) are wimps compared to Great Tits and Blue Tits. Those latter two are both very aggressive, well able to turf out birds larger than themselves to occupy nest holes. In a fight between Great Tit and Pied Flycatcher, it'd be an easy win for the Great Tit.
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Old Sunday 14th May 2017, 20:34   #28
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The Poecile chickadees (Black-capped & Carolina, and also Willow Tit and Marsh Tit over here) are wimps compared to Great Tits and Blue Tits. Those latter two are both very aggressive, well able to turf out birds larger than themselves to occupy nest holes. In a fight between Great Tit and Pied Flycatcher, it'd be an easy win for the Great Tit.
Wow! That is impressive. Thanks for the information.
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Old Monday 15th May 2017, 10:06   #29
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In a fight between Great Tit and Pied Flycatcher, it'd be an easy win for the Great Tit.
Not sure about that, seen it go the other way - these are the two most abundant species in my nestboxes and, despite having had Pied Flycatchers and other species in close proximity nestboxes over the years, Pied Flycatchers tend to be fairly stubborn around the nestboxes, pushing off Great Spotted Woodpeckers that come in too close and soon seeing off Great Tits if near a desired box.
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Old Monday 15th May 2017, 11:50   #30
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Not sure about that, seen it go the other way - these are the two most abundant species in my nestboxes and, despite having had Pied Flycatchers and other species in close proximity nestboxes over the years, Pied Flycatchers tend to be fairly stubborn around the nestboxes, pushing off Great Spotted Woodpeckers that come in too close and soon seeing off Great Tits if near a desired box.
There is a stand off right now it seems.

Both the Titts and the Flycatcher are feeding, close to each other, I suspect that whoever lays eggs first may win the battle but the Pied Fly hasn't even attracted a female yet and may be too late to claim his usual box.

A
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Old Tuesday 16th May 2017, 16:28   #31
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Nest box update,
the Flycatcher has taken the new box to the delight of my wife. He's busy wing flicking and singing whilst popping in and out of the new box, hoping to attract a passing female to share his abode.

There is a fully constructed nest in the other box but the Tits are yet to lay any eggs. I think they may be delaying egg laying due to the still pretty cold weather? We noticed that there is a layer of faeces under the nest, presumably the birds were roosting in it before they built the nest.


A

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Old Tuesday 16th May 2017, 18:13   #32
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There is a fully sonstructed nest in the other box but the Tits are yet to lay any eggs. I think they may be delaying egg laying due to the still pretty cold weather? We noticed that there is a layer of faeces under the nest, presumably the birds were roosting in it before they built the nest.
I would recommend not actually checking if they have laid eggs etc, very prone to desertion at the early nest-building stage.
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Old Tuesday 16th May 2017, 18:36   #33
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I would recommend not actually checking if they have laid eggs etc, very prone to desertion at the early nest-building stage.
Due to the lack of activity, i.e actually entering or leaving the nest box since the fracas a few days ago, my wife was curious to see how far along the Tits were with the nest construction.

The nest is complete, she was just trying to establish if the Tits had been forced to abandon construction by the attention of the Flycatcher as neither of them seem to be using it at all since he arrived?

The Flycatcher seems to have taken the new box but still actually goes and looks in the other one as if he can't make up his mind?

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Old Tuesday 16th May 2017, 19:23   #34
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I'm still thinking that the Tits have delayed egg laying due to the weather, they're still using the seed feeder which they don't do in the summer when they have plenty of their first choice food, insects.

Bullfinches are late starting to breed and are also still at the feeder, they too go unseen all summer when they disappear in to the forest.


Nesting Fieldfare also viewable from our lounge.


A
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Old Wednesday 17th May 2017, 05:47   #35
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The Flycatcher seems to have taken the new box but still actually goes and looks in the other one as if he can't make up his mind?
This is quite common, and also worth knowing that a male might have two boxes onhte go at the same time with different females, so it would be in his interest to included a second box in his rounds in case an additional female arrives.

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I'm still thinking that the Tits have delayed egg laying due to the weather, they're still using the seed feeder which they don't do in the summer when they have plenty of their first choice food, insects.
I reduce the number of feeders (down to one), but still nesting tits do use right through the breeding period, especially during incubation, but not for feeding young.

Possibly delayed, but wouldn't surprise me if they have deserted. Checking my nestboxes at the end of each season, a portion always have partly or completed nests that remained unused.
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Old Wednesday 17th May 2017, 10:11   #36
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This is quite common, and also worth knowing that a male might have two boxes onhte go at the same time with different females, so it would be in his interest to included a second box in his rounds in case an additional female arrives.

We actuallyknew this, one of the first things I bought my wife a few years ago was 'The Pied Flycatcher' from the Poyser series.

I reduce the number of feeders (down to one), but still nesting tits do use right through the breeding period, especially during incubation, but not for feeding young.

We will remove the feeder once spring has truly arrived, it hasn't so far at all.

Possibly delayed, but wouldn't surprise me if they have deserted. Checking my nestboxes at the end of each season, a portion always have partly or completed nests that remained unused.

They have been seen at the box, I think it's still ok



A
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Old Thursday 18th May 2017, 14:40   #37
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All happening now, first Thrush Nightingale and Yellowhammer today and the Flycatcher is attendant at his box, singing heartily.



A
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Old Thursday 18th May 2017, 17:01   #38
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I have found this thread fascinating, Andy. Please keep posting!

Here in eastern Pennsylvania, it is about 31 C (88 F). A pair of American Robins successfully reared at least one chick and it is now out of the nest. House Finches are nesting (though I think a cowbird paid them a visit), and Mourning Doves and Chipping Sparrows have recently started, too. I think our pair of Tree Swallows has eggs, but I'll have to check on that.

Migrants are perhaps just starting to decrease in number. However, a listen for nocturnal flight calls a couple nights ago brought Swainson's and Gray-cheeked Thrushes, Least Sandpipers, Spotted or Solitary Sanpipers, and a singing Scarlet Tanager. The next morning saw over 150 Cedar Waxwings migrating, along with 30+ Blue Jays, 5+ Indigo Buntings, and a singing Bobolink. The trees had a couple Baltimore Orioles and an Eastern Wood-pewee (my first for the year).
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Old Thursday 18th May 2017, 17:29   #39
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The Pied Flycatcher has got himself a female and she's taking nest material to the new box.

He must have taken to the box the very day we put it up as the old one had been occupied.

Here he is, taken from our bedroom window, he's sitting on a small pine branch that my wife added with his box in the background.


A
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Old Thursday 18th May 2017, 17:38   #40
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And here's our displaying Ruff on the local patch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPqIkTSXdNY

Plenty of stuff arrived now, Short-eared Owl and Bluethroat too, late but at least they're here
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Old Friday 19th May 2017, 18:59   #41
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First Cuckoo today and another Bluthroat
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Old Friday 19th May 2017, 22:05   #42
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This for me, is the iconic sound of the Russian spring, It's past midnight and a Thrush Nightingale sings outside our kitchen window.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6ghxpsDalM

They are night migrants, males arrive first and then sing at night to attract any passing females. Unfortunately, this wonderful song is only given for a couple of weeks until they settle down to breed and then it's heard far less often and not at night.


A

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Old Saturday 20th May 2017, 14:39   #43
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All seems present and correct in terms of migrants now, Whinchats are in and we still have White-fronted Geese passing over.

Just go to keep our fingers crossed this year that they don't cut the grass on our local patch as they did last year. It wiped out the Lapwings and probably did great damage to Skylarks, Corncrake, Little Ringed Plover, Short-eared Owl etc.

I don't know why they cut the grass, it's setaside land with no crops and they don't harvest the grass or at least they didn't lasy year so it's carnage with for real reason.

Nestbox update, male Flycatcher singing away, happily supervising the female as she comes and goes with nest material.

A

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