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Wild Bird Mayhem!


It’s that time of year again when all the birds are frantically building nests and disputes over territory are taking place – reminds you of people doesn’t it?
We have a large garden with lots of trees and bushes, so get a lot of birds and as the garden if far from pristine, there’s lots of nesting material too.
My neighbour built both of us Little Owl boxes last year, as another neighbour had young fledge and we decided that they would be looking for new nesting sites. Last year mine was occupied by Jackdaws, even though there is a tunnel inside as it was made from the Owl trust web site pattern, it didn’t deter them. My neighbours was occupied by bees!
This year we have Little Owls and ASBO Jackdaws. Quite close to the owl box was a derelict dovecote which the Jackdaws decided to build in, as well as attacking the Owl box. They ripped the felt from the roof of the box for nesting material and spend industrious hours ripping the box, trying to make the hole bigger.

Derelict dovecote after it was taken down.

And the ‘stump’ of the removed dovecote showing how close it was. The remaining bit is approx. 6ft tall.

We took the dovecote down and having sat in the apple tree with beaks full of nesting material, looking confused, they decided to move on to an old parakeet nesting box I had put up as a roosting place for the winter, for anyone who needed it. These are not huge, only about 8" square and 12-14" deep, but they manage to cram into it.

Parakeet box before it was moved.

Next the Green Woodpecker arrived back and was calling from the area where it nested last year, again within a few feet of the owl box, ex-dovecote and parakeet box!
Back up the tree and moved the parakeet box about 15 feet down the tree line! More confusion from the Jackdaws, but they found it again and are still filling it with bits. I really should have just taken it down completely.
Next job was off to the local hardware shop which does metal work too, to see if I could get a washer type piece to place over the hole of the owl box to stop the Jackdaws, I ended up with some thinnish metal to cut and put round the hole.
Big ladder, up the tree to peep in the door of the owl box to see if anyone was home before I started nailing things on the outside. Of course they were, little people peering at me, so that stopped the repairs!

The desirable residence which everyone is fighting over!

I shall have to go back to the usual method of dashing outside and clapping when I hear the Jackdaws, to stop them attacking the box. Hopefully this will soon die down, when they either give up or find another nesting place. The owls seem to be holding their own from the invaders, I think it’s a case of sit tight and hiss like mad when a Jackdaw thinks of coming in. I can’t keep peeping in the box to see if it is empty, I shall have to wait for the winter to repair the box.

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Hi Snoopdog, They are so cute and out and about during the day so you can see them. One of them sits on the top of the hedge stumps or on the trellis, so well in view. I had a look at your photo's, they are terrific and much better than any I manage to get.

18 Apr, 2015


What a lovely selection of birds you have Honeysuckle! Having both green woodpeckers and little owls is really something. We don't get green woodpeckers round here. I do hear little owls but haven't seen any. Those birds obviously all know where there is a builder of desirable residences!

Snoop, that owl is lovely - I remember it now.

18 Apr, 2015


That's a super selection of birds. I mostly see blue tits, pigeons ( they like to be boss!) and the starlings. I have cited a bird house but lately all its attracted is a sugary bee. Quite happy to let him lodge though as I know the bees need all the help they can get with survival.

18 Apr, 2015


I agree with you Bluebell, the bees do need lots of help at the moment and I do try to restrict myself to mostly single petalled flowers, the bees can't get into lots of the double flowers and of course we have lots of weeds flowering too, some by design and some not!
For Bluebell and Steragram: We have lots of the more common birds too, not that they are any less appreciated, like Robins, Blackbirds, Dunnocks, Sparrows, Greenfinches, Chaffinches and even Goldfinches and Long Tailed Tits sometimes. There are always Blue Tits and Great Tits, both of which nest in the garden and usually a few Moorhen which nest here too. Of course we have loads of the annoying Wood Pigeons and visiting Rooks who bring their young from the Rookery up the road to feed on our chicken food and make a real racket. Magpies, the odd Starling and a roaming Barn Owl who just visits to quarter the meadow, must put him a box up!

19 Apr, 2015


Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this blog.

24 May, 2015


Thanks Lori for wading through my long blog. All is peaceful at the moment, the stray cat seems to be inhabiting someone else's garden and we have Great & Blue-tits in two of the boxes. A Robin who keeps me company whenever I am gardening is nesting somewhere in the hedge - one Robin comes and just eats everything I turn up, the other comes and collects it and takes it away to the nest, or perhaps it's the alternate 'feed me, feed the babies'.
I haven't seen the Little Owls lately, I must get the long ladder out and peep in to see if the box is occupied, if not I can mend it!

25 May, 2015

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