Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Duties and Joys of a "Landlord"

I have always put nesting boxes up in the garden I have had. They've mainly been small boxes designed for Blue-tits. Over the last few years the number of House Sparrows nesting in the UK has dropped drastically and although the population here seems pretty good I decided to put some boxes up designed for them. They are a bit larger then the Tit boxes with slightly bigger entrance holes. In addition Sparrows are quite neighbourly, so I made two pairs of semi-detached and a terrace of three. In three years just one of these has been used by a Sparrow, the right hand box of the terrace. Below is one of the pairs of semis, and last year a Great Tit Pair used the right hand box, there is a dividing wall down the middle.

This morning was I enjoying a cup of tea in the garden when I noticed a Blue Tit inspecting the right hand box. He popped in and I awaited developments.

The next thing I see is one coming out of the left box. Now I know they have no adjoining door inside, but it did look like in one side, pop across, out of the other as a sort of game.

Fairly soon I noticed a second, I think the female, collecting nesting material around the garden. She quickly returned to the Box.

When she arrived it was straight into the left hand box, a process repeated dozens of times during the day.

While this was going on he either followed her in, or sometimes he went into the right hand box, and quickly came out, seemingly puzzled by the arrangement. Other times he sat on top of the vine and sang. Not the greatest song, but he was very enthusiastic.

When she came out he was quickly of the mark, but didn't seem to help with the gathering of the nesting material.
I had earlier watched a pair in and out of a natural hope in a tree in the garden, not far from this box. It may be the pair that has decided to move their dwelling.

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