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Old Saturday 8th February 2020, 18:41   #1
enjoybirds
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our long term friend

We have a small bird, a stonechat I believe. It has been with us since the beginning of September (5 months now) and comes to our bedroom window from first light, tapping at the window by flying up and down against the window and hitting it with either it's feet or wing. I have lowered the outside blind so it cannot fly to the top of the window allowing it to hit the window harder. It stays around most of the day, every day and is often still around the window area till half light in the evening.

Today, it has been tapping the window with a beak full of nest material!!

Can anyone explain this behaviour to me please?
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Old Saturday 8th February 2020, 18:47   #2
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This is likely a bird attacking its reflection, protecting its territory. Quite common with garden birds such as Great or Blue Tits, Robin and others but first time I've heard of a Stonechat as they are usually quite shy.
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Old Saturday 8th February 2020, 19:34   #3
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That's curious indeed! I agree with the fact that your bird is acting territorial against its own reflection. Carry nesting material while doing this - I've never heard of. I imagine you are in the countryside somewhere because Stonechats rarely come in to gardens in built up areas.
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Old Saturday 8th February 2020, 21:46   #4
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Originally Posted by enjoybirds View Post
We have a small bird, a stonechat I believe. It has been with us since the beginning of September (5 months now) and comes to our bedroom window from first light, tapping at the window by flying up and down against the window and hitting it with either it's feet or wing. I have lowered the outside blind so it cannot fly to the top of the window allowing it to hit the window harder. It stays around most of the day, every day and is often still around the window area till half light in the evening.

Today, it has been tapping the window with a beak full of nest material!!

Can anyone explain this behaviour to me please?
A photo (mobile phone even) from inside might be interesting.
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Old Sunday 9th February 2020, 15:18   #5
enjoybirds
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Hi

Thanks for all your replies. Hopefully I have attached a couple of photos.

hope these help.

Thanks
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Old Sunday 9th February 2020, 15:34   #6
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Our long term friend

Hi

I have managed another photo!!! Taken all day, but got there in the end!!
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Old Sunday 9th February 2020, 21:44   #7
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Yes, a European Stonechat
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Old Sunday 9th February 2020, 21:54   #8
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Looks like an imm.male in the photo taken last November, it should be looking very different now?
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Old Monday 10th February 2020, 08:27   #9
enjoybirds
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dantheman View Post
A photo (mobile phone even) from inside might be interesting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wates View Post
That's curious indeed! I agree with the fact that your bird is acting territorial against its own reflection. Carry nesting material while doing this - I've never heard of. I imagine you are in the countryside somewhere because Stonechats rarely come in to gardens in built up areas.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PYRTLE View Post
This is likely a bird attacking its reflection, protecting its territory. Quite common with garden birds such as Great or Blue Tits, Robin and others but first time I've heard of a Stonechat as they are usually quite shy.
No, it looks just the same now. The photo on my 2nd picture post with the nest matterial was only a few days ago.
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Old Monday 10th February 2020, 17:55   #10
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No, it looks just the same now. The photo on my 2nd picture post with the nest matterial was only a few days ago.
Cannot be a male then, they should be all in breeding adult type plumage now. Maybe this female is being territorial - no males around?
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Old Tuesday 11th February 2020, 09:34   #11
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I think it is a female. There is a male around but don't know if they are a pair or he has another female. Where do they nest, do you know?

Often when you go into the room she is just sitting on the window cill outside and you just see the top of her head, when she hears you, she sits up and looks in. Is this territorial behaviour?

Thanks for your help
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Old Tuesday 11th February 2020, 09:46   #12
Simon Wates
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I think it is a female. There is a male around but don't know if they are a pair or he has another female. Where do they nest, do you know?

Often when you go into the room she is just sitting on the window cill outside and you just see the top of her head, when she hears you, she sits up and looks in. Is this territorial behaviour?

Thanks for your help
Ah, now I see, I would think that the bird is simply reacting to possible threats then. You should be able to observe where she goes, if you keep a low profile, and see where the nest is. Probably in a low bush. I would imagine that the male you are seeing is her mate, he may be keeping more of distance, when you are looking, to distract you from nesting activities. Worth mentioning to keep well away from the nest to avoid the possibility of desertion.
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Old Tuesday 11th February 2020, 11:29   #13
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I,vet had that for years with Long Tail Tits and Goldcrests.
I live in the depths of the country and these birds were being territorial against there own reflection.
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Old Tuesday 11th February 2020, 12:15   #14
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Thanks for that. I cannot see over our back wall so did not know where she goes, so cannot see her all the time. She can never be far away as she nearly always appears when we go in the bedroom. Would the male sit on any eggs? We have a robin box under cover between the house and garage, is it possible that she would have nested in that last year? The birds abandoned it and when I cleaned it out they had left 5 eggs. Previous years Black Redstarts had nested in it but the nest was totally made differently. I have watched birds for many years so am careful not to disturb them.

Attached a photo of a male in the back ground.

Thanks
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Old Thursday 28th May 2020, 13:07   #15
enjoybirds
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Hi all.
I have an update to this -
We still have her tapping the window, some days more than others. I also worked out where she was nesting - about 3 meters over our back wall in a patch of wild bamboo. She came to our window one day with a beak full of food, so I understood she must have young, she also gave me a demonstration another day of how to catch a flying insect on the wing. I did see a magpie go to her nest one day and hoped any young were still safe, then a few days ago one single young appeared on our back wall but I have not seen it again. I imagine it has gone else where now.
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