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Saturday 6 April 2024

Nest Box pressures

On one of my sites I am covering, the urge to breed and find a nest site, shows the lengths and efforts, many species will go to reproduce and nail a nest site.

Most of it concerns a couple of Barnie boxes ,the pressure on these, even occupied, is nonstop, even from a relatively ‘ lightweight’ species like Stock Dove.

Up to 4 of these smart looking Doves are trying relentlessly to gain access to a Box, on watching the activity taking place, it was quite obvious that a Barn Owl was inside. Individual birds continually tried to get into the hole and every time, they failed and retreated/flushed as the Owl inside no doubt showed aggression.

I watched this over a 2-hour period, it was constant, such is the powerful urge to reproduce and breed.

On another box, an unusual scenario is that a pair of Kestrels seem to have claimed a Barnie box, the female in particular quite attached to it. At first I thought she was just using it to hunt and launch from on prey below, but after being joined by her mate, it seems they have designs on the box.

Again, watching over a good few hours, she didn’t try to enter it, possibly due to a roosting Barnie inside, then again, I thought perhaps she is waiting for the Owl to exit to mug it. However I have only ever seen Kestrels mug Barnies when they have prey.

                                                 Male returning with mouse for female on box

Previous to this on different days, I had often seen her on the box assuming she was hunting from it, however on watching the male take a mouse the other day, he flew straight to the box and gave it to the female.

Interesting development, more to come.

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