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  • 14.06.2024 Review

    Drama in the nest box – Xperibird project

    This year our Xperibird project got off to a particularly dramatic and uncertain start: Year 10 were routinely checking whether our tit nest box, equipped with a live webcam, had already been occupied when we witnessed a dramatic fight between two tits (see film 1)! A pair of tits had started to prepare the nesting box with moss for laying eggs when another tit tried to “sit in the nest”. The fight between the tits was so fierce that we briefly thought they had killed each other! Then nothing for days – no further nest visits, no eggs. Were our tits too weak from the fight or were they held back by the cold spring? Then suddenly they did! 9 eggs (photo clutch). The tits had waited just the right amount of time – when the chicks hatched, the weather was better and there was enough food to raise them (film 2). However, it was fresher than usual and the parents had to keep the chicks warm (film 2).

    It’s not so easy to count the number of chicks (film 3), but we always check them to make sure that no one has starved to death. Our youngest pupils have particularly good observation skills. So I got help from the primary school, where they counted enthusiastically. We think there are nine chicks and you? The primary school children were able to witness live how the bird parents carry out a “nappy change” and remove the droppings (film 4). By the end there were 9 chicks (see photo of chicks) – our IT team had thankfully taken over the observation post during the Whitsun holidays and taken photos for us. This means that this year all the chicks survived and fledged.

    You can find out more about the project in our film: https://youtu.be/rcxbRySGfBc and on the xperibird.be website. PS. The date function in the films and photos is broken and therefore unfortunately no longer correct.

    K. Articus-Lepage

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