12 Aug 2013

Garden babies.

From a disastrously slow start to the breeding season it looks as if the late onset of summer has allowed our garden birds to rear late  broods. The garden feeders are heaving with young birds and a couple of ringing sessions has resulted in all juvenile birds and very few adults

A juvenile Great-spotted Woodpecker has been visiting daily - the first juvenile I've caught in the garden after ringing adult male and female last winter. As well as the red crown young birds can also be identified by their eye colour. The iris on this bird is brown whereas on an adult it is red.

The only exception to the 'juveniles only' ringing totals was this male House Sparrow. A small colony is just about hanging on locally and I've decided to give them a boost by making some sparrow-sized nest boxes & I'll give some to the neighbours as well as putting up a couple on the eaves of our house.

Most of the juveniles are now undergoing their post juvenile moult. The Blue Tit in the following photo's is moulting its head and its greater coverts. The median and lesser coverts are also moulted These will now be the recognisable blue rather than the grey / green they leave the nest with.

A late brood of Blackbirds has appeared with three young and two adults feeding on the rapidly diminishing Rowan berries. The female Blackbird was ringed last December so I was pleased to catch the male. He hadn't started his post breeding moult yet but his feathers were pretty tatty and worn.

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