In early 2012 Clane Tidy Towns, in association with the Kildare Branch of Birdwatch Ireland, launched our Nest Box Scheme.
A survey identified several species that could be reasonably expected to be attracted to nest boxes in Clane, appropriate sites were identified around the town, and suggested nest box designs were drawn up.
People were invited to create and donate nest boxes, and a wonderful total of 18 boxes (including 4 from the local Men’s Shed) were assembled, gratefully received, painted up and carefully installed.
Over the course of the breeding season these boxes were monitored under license from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, and now that the season is over (at least for these nest boxes) we are delighted to share our results.
Despite the inclement weather which drastically affected the population of caterpillars on which most nestlings are fed, we are delighted to report that nests were constructed in 9 of the boxes, and young were successfully raised in 7 of these nests. Eggs were not laid in one of the nests, and in another the nest was abandoned for some reason before the eggs hatched. Of the 18 nest boxes originally installed a total of 37 young were successfully reared – a wonderful result for the first year of the scheme. All the nests were occupied by Blue Tit, one of our targeted species. Details of the nesting results were contributed to the BTO’s Nest Record Scheme to assist in long term research.
Of the 18 nest boxes installed we actually went ahead and installed a camera in one of them, and connected it up to a recorder. By shear luck, a pair of Blue Tits started to construct their nest in the box the day after the camera went in!! The complete nest was not visible to the camera but at least 9 eggs were seen to be laid and at least 8 young were counted leaving the nest a few short weeks later. The transformation from empty wooden box to chaotic home full of at least 10 birds was wonderful to witness, and we are delighted now to share some of the highlights below having uploaded them to YouTube. A big thank you to the staff and members of the John Sullivan Resource Centre who kept a close eye on the birds. They christened the mum Annabelle, and the dad was named Apollo. We hope you enjoy the clips below.
A big thank you to everyone who supported the Nest Box Scheme in 2012 – the results were very encouraging. Here’s wishing the 37 young that were raised all the best in and around Clane in the coming weeks and months.