On the Ball
Date: 2014-06-27 09:32:47 | Category: Bird Watching
| Author: Neill Hunt
Well, I don't know about you but my garden and feeders have been incredibly busy over the past few weeks.
I've managed to count at least 11 different species of birds making regular visits to the feeding area, fantastic!
The most regular are the House Sparrows and Blue Tits.
This year I managed to have both these species nest in the garden, which for me was great news. House Sparrows are in national decline and had not nested in my garden previously. This year I let the Ivy and Russian Vine go mad and sure enough in the deep tangled depths 2 pairs of House Sparrows made their home, brilliant
My Blue Tits also nested again so as you can imagine the garden is awash with young birds trying desperately to take advantage of my generous nature by trying to eat every Fat Ball, Peanut and bag of Seedmix I offer them. They're doing a great job and I'm struggling to keep up with their ferocious appetites!
The young birds are great to watch, they have been hand fed by their parents for a while but now they are fending for themselves and doing a good job.
You can tell the young birds at this time quite easily by looking at their bills. You will notice the brighter yellow gape, the skin between the upper and lower bill.
In "nidicolous" young (very young underdeveloped nestlings) like House Sparrows, Blue Tits, and most passerines (perching birds), the gape flanges are very often, if not always very brightly colored and this acts as a guide to adults the that are thrusting food into the hungry chicks mouths, almost like a target.
These brightly colored gapes are still visible for a month or so after fledging and can be seen in the image above.