Diary

31.12.2002

The last whole night this year was also the coldest one in this winter so far. The lowest temperature was -25 C / -13 F. The bird survived and in the morning it was gone as normal.

This is the last entry in the diary of this year. The story will be continued in the next part. Happy New Year!


13.11.2002

A great tit has bin roosting here every night since November 7th. It comes in the after noon between 3 and 4 a clock and leaves in the morning between 7 and 8.

It has bin very cold at nights. Colder than usually this time of the year.


8.11.2002

Roosting again. For the second night in a row now.


7.11.2002

Roosting.


3.11.2002

A bird again. No roosting since five days ago. Only day time visitors. Impossible to say if it is the same bird avery time or different ones.


29.10.2002

A great tit has bin inspecting the box many times during the last few days.

This evening it decided to stay over the night. Lets hope it will roost here over the winter.


21.10.2002

Yestarday, a great tit visited the box. Looking for a place to roost ower the winter?


22.7.2002

Due to a computer crash, the picture of bid bosx cam was not visible and the bage was not updated between 11th and 22nd of July. Now the computer is up and running again and the picture will be updated few times a day.

No birds has be seen in the box after the first nesting.


26.6.2002

The nest box is now empty and cleaned. This nesting ended like this. Lets hope for a better luck next time. Some great tits are nesting for a second time in July so with a good luck we may see another nesting within a month. And some bird may use the box for roosting in the winter. So keep watching. The camera will continue to peek into the box.

A few pictures of the removed nest and the chicks whos life ended before it really started.

The matchbox helps to understand the size of the nest. The nest cup itself is much deeper than you ever could imagine when looking at the boxcam. The matchbox fits completely inside of it although there are still two eggs and the chicks under it. After a successful nesting the nest cup is usually almost missing due to the movements of the chicks. The weigh of the whole nest is only 22 grams!

The female had cleaned the nest carefully. No pieces of eggshell were left.

Here are the events of the last day as a "accelerated film". The first video shows events from the morning beginning with first time the female left the nest ending with the last time she left and never came back. It shows how she begun to take care of the chicks and continued to sit on the remainig eggs. The number in the picture shows the date and the time. The format of both videos is MPEG-1.

23rd june 2002 7:02 am to 3:04 pm - Video: 1,1 MB, 21 sec, 320 x 240

The other video shows events after the female left the nest for the last time until the mid night. Last movement of the chicks can be seen at 1:03 after mid night. They stayded alive for a surprisingly long time, about ten hours without the female. Time between each picture is about one minute so it IS possible that the female has been in the box after the last picture of her is stored.

23rd June 2002 2:32 pm to 1:32 am - Video: 1,3 MB, 25 sec, 320 x 240

Why did this happen? The nesting started well. During the incubation the male did not appear any more. Possibly he died. The female succeed well in incubating and succeed also to feed her self without getting help from the male. She started to take care of the chicks. She should been able to grow at least part of the chicks without the male. She had no reason to abandon the chicks. They were healthy and strong as the second video shows.

The disappearance of the female is and ramains a mystery. My best guess is that she was killed by a cat or a hawk. Or may be she flew against a window. This case has no effect on the great tit population. But it still bother because it happened just in this box which so many people followed with a big interest in Finland and even in other parts of the world.


23.6.2002

As expected, the eggs hatched today.

This is the first picture of the chicks. The time is 7:15 am. Four or five eggs are still unhatched.

The female is feeding the chicks. Everything looks fine.

Here you can see one chick begging for food. Marked with a circle.

More eggs are hatched. The female is eating the shells.

Three or four eggs unhatched.

This is the last picture of the female until now.

It did not came back within the day. Without a miracle the chicks are probably already dead. So we are waiting for tomorrow. And for the miracle.


17.6.2002

Incubating is proceeding well and is already in the middle. There is nothing new to write about. The only strangeness is that the male has not feed the female. Maybe all of the males don't know they should do that. Hope he know how to feed the chicks. And I hope he is ok, that nothing has happened to him.

The picture shows a typically brooding position. The female is sitting deep in the nest cup with the tail pointing up.


10.6.2002

Female is sitting on the eggs which should hatch after 15 days. It will say that the hatching should occur between 22nd and 24th June. The male should bring food to the female but I have not seen him doing that. The female has been out from the box for several times during the day. The weather has been very warm, about 20..24 °C at daytime, so there is no problem leaving the eggs for a while.

The picture set from today shows the interesting thing how the bird is moving the eggs in different positions during the day. There has to be a good reason for doing so because it looks very purposeful. She is moving the eggs when she comes in to the box and also during being there and sitting on them. No more than seven eggs has been visible today, so maybe there is no more than that. The great tit usually lays 6 to 12 eggs.


9.6.2002

Seven eggs can be seen now. The other picture shows even eight. The female has spendt much more time in the box than before. Looks like the incubating is beginning.


8.6.2002

There are now at least six eggs. Look on the other picture from mid day. All eggs has been covered so that no one can be seen. Thats why it is impossible to be sure how many eggs there actually are. Some of them can always be out of sight.

All eggs should be layed within next week. After that the female starts to incubate.


6.6.2002

The nest cup will soon bee ready and there are at least three eggs now. Great tit is laying 6 to 12 eggs. When all of them are layed the female is sittig on them for about 15 days.


4.6.2002

No significant news. Everything ok. Broken links of yesterday pictures are fixed.

Two pictures from today. More waddings brought in. There are also some pieces of the leaves from the creeper that the bird was tearing already two days ago.


3.6.2002

Building of the nest has continued. There is some wadding already brought in. There should be enough of dog hair in the garden, hope it is ok for the birds.

Three pictures showing the progress of today. In the first one there is one egg formed spot. Could it be an egg? Last year great tits started laying eggs already when the nest was still unfinished. In the picture to the right there are two similar spots, down to the left. I increased contrast to the pictures so the spots would be better seen.


2.6.2002

The job continued in the morning at 6:28 am. Last picture was captured at 2:58 pm. Between 8 and 9 a clock in the evening the bird came in and started to roost in the box. The evening was rainy and some thunderclaps were also heard. Maybe that gave a motive for roosting indoors tonight.

Look at the today taken coloured picture on the main page. Then take a look and the three first pictures here. What is the bird doing? Looks like it is trying to carry the creeper inside.


1.6.2002

Great tits worked for six hours. They started at 6:13 am and stopped at 12:33 pm. After that they did not come back today any more. Hope they do it tomorrow. There are six pictures today. The very first one and the last one and four others. In one picture you can see the pied flycatcher peeking in the box.


31.5.2002

When I few days ago wrote that Great Tit will not nest here before July perhaps, it started to so this afternoon. The pied flycatcher visited two times in the morning. Then in the afternoon great tits begun to carry building material inside. They left in the afternoon and the box is empty now in the evning.

Here is a videoclip from today.

Video: 365 kt, 28 sec, 320 x 240

Still pictures was captured about 130. Here are the best of them.

Tomorrow great tits should be back continuin their work.


30.5.2002

If yesterday was a silent day, today there was really a rush. First the pied flycatcher visited three times. Then a great tit at the same time as the pied flycatcher looked in from the entry hole.

Here is the pied flycatcher alone.

And then the great tit. In the picture to the right it seems to be the pied flycatcher looking in to the box while the great tit was there.

Then comes another great tit.

After about an hour the pied flycatcher is back again. And after that the great tit again twice.

So there was quite enough of traffic today. It is a little suprise to see two great tits in the box. They should have their eggs hatched already and they should be busy carrying food to their chicks. This may be a couple whos nesting was failed for some reason and now they are trying to nest again. If there is a competition between great tit and pied flycatcher about a bird box, it is usually won by pied flycatcher. It may even build a nest cup on great tits eggs. The great tit will strike back, of course, and some times it manages to kill the pied flycatcher.

Wery interesting to wait for tomorow and see what's going to happen.


29.5.2002

Quite a silent day today. Pied flycatcher visited twice, thats all.


28.5.2002

Also today the pied flycatcher visited the box three times.

Videorecorder was set to record picture from the bird box cam between 8:00 am to 4:00 pm so all the visits were captured on tape. Here is a clip from the first visit:

Video: 146 kB, 11 sec, 320 x 240

This was a quite short visit. The othres were longer and the bird was looking very carefully around in the box. The male seems to think that this would bee a bood place to nest, but he dosen't have a female.


27.5.2002

A pied flycatcher was singing in the garden early in the morning. It also visited the box three times. You can see the precise time on the pictures.

This is a male. I haven't seen the female for some time now. Perhaps this male don't have any female or then he have already a nest and eggs with one female and now he is trying to find another female. Or a third one. The pied flycatcher is polygamous.

Great tits should already have their eggs hatched or they will hatch in the near future. The great tit will not nest in the box now. It is possible again in July when many great tits are nesting for a second time. Spotted flycatcher are arriving back to Finland from Africa later than pied flycatcher and it may also nest in the box despite many sources says it doesn't nest in a box like this at all. Spotted flycatcher should lay the eggs in June.


21.5.2002

It was a warm day after a colder season for several days. All birds was singing much more today than yesterday. A pied flycatcher was closer today. One was also inspecting the box. Fourteen pictures was captured, best of them are here. First one has the time stamp 9:46 am and the last one 10:06 am so the examination was quite careful lasting about twenty minutes. These pictures shows also that the bird on 24.02.2002 was also a pied flycatcher. I did not recognize that time but it is looking the same that in these pictures.


20.5.2002

Still waiting for nesting. No birds has visited the box since the picture was taken 12th may. The camera software has been running all the time with motion detection swithced on. Today in the morning some rustling was heared from the box. I was a bird but it did not come inside.

Pied flycatcher is singing every day in the trees nearby.


14.5.2002

A couple of pied flycatchers was flying around in the garden today. The female visited at least two other boxes but not the one with the camera. She visited the one where I fotographed the squirrel four days ago. Thats why I today removed the whole box. There are so much of squirrels now that nesting in this box most certainly would end by squirrel eating the eggs.


12.5.2002

I did not hear the wasp today anymore so I removed the tape. In afternoon a picture was capturer when a bird was in the box. It is a pied flycatcher.


11.5.2002

Good bye Mrs Wasp. And sorry about this. The nest is removed. She came back and flyed and walked around the box looking very confused and frustrated. After about an hour she began to build the nest again. I looked on TV when she went out, then I blocked the entry hole with a piece of tape. Hope she will forgot the box soon so I can remove the tape. I don't want to use any insecticide near the box. They might put some smell there wich could frighten the birds.

The nest is about two days old in these pictures.


10.5.2002

The wasp really are going to move in to the box. I'm not very interested to have them flying around in my garden where my children are playing. There has been problem with wasps before. Believe me, there really can be lot of them when they are breeding.

Look at a viedo clip: 391 kb, 30 sec, 320 x 240

In the garden there are three bird boxes besides the one with the camera. No one has a nest yet. I don't remember a summer without any nests so there is still time, I hope. Many people has told me, that this year there are less nests in bird boxes than usually. One of my box is made for redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus). It has a big entry hole, big enough for a squirrel. One of them find a good place there for resting today.


9.5.2002

A wasp! And doing what? I hope it is not building a nest. I don't believe birds are interesting about the box anymore if it is occupied by wasps.


6.5.2002

A pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) was flying around in the garden today. It has been the most common bird over the years in the camera box. Male flycatchers are looking for a places to nest. Females will arrive a little bit later and they will decide if the place is good enough.


3.5.2002

A bumblebee again. Are they going to colonize the box this year? :-)


29.4.2002

Today afternoon I watched the picture from the box on TV. Suddenly I heared some rustle. The shadow of a bird appeared in the entry hole. I didn't see anything but the shadow. But surely it was a bird.


28.4.2002

Motion detection stored these pictures. It seems to be a bug of some kind walking in the box. And on the camera lens. Hope it cleaned it's feet before doing that.


26.4.2002

First visit! A bird was looking inside the box this morning. The species can not be recognized from the picture. It does not look familiar to me. A little bit it looks like the garden warbler from last year. The camera software is set to save pictures when a movement is detected in the box.


1.4.2002

This year there is not yet a nest in the box. The camera is not in regular use. Last year a couple of great tits began building a nest in the beginning of May. While waiting for the nesting to begin this year, you can see what happened last year in the bird box. You can also view the current weather in Helsinki.