Diary 2003


Thank you to all visitors! This is the last picture of the year 2003. The story is to continue.


A woodpecker visited box 3 today! Newer seen one here in a box before.


A blue tit visited box 3 today.


This bird really cleans the nest box every day. Here is the work made today.


The bird was in the box between 11:58 am and 12:30 pm. For a few minutes it was sleeping. Afternoon nap.


Snowfall last night and during the day. Nearly 20 cm of snow on the ground. It's not usually snowing yet this time of the year. This is the first winter for the box. Until now it has worked well. The camera is working normally and the box is dry inside.

Here is a litte bit of snow in the entrance but no snow inside the box.


The bird cleaned the box during the day. At the beginning lt looked like this:

Here the great tit is cleaning..

...and here is the result.

The great tit roosting last winter in box 1 did not clean at all. Then there were no sawdust in the box. Now there is and it seems to be good also for cleanin. The dirt is easy to remove when it does not stick on the floor.

Here is an animated GIF of the cleaning operation. The GIF is made of 23 pictures captured with one minute intervall.

031023_tintti_siivoo.gif - 320 x 240, 581 kt


A great tit roosting now for the third day in a row. It visited the box also during the day.

Every corner have to be inspected. Not a wery common angle in a box cam. This bird seems to be a female.

Pleace, don't! No pecking there...

A typical "I wonder" look of a great tit.

And then to sleep for the night.


Great tit roosted in box 2.

There is a two-three cm layer of sawdust on the bottom of the box.


Box 1 cleaned after the nesting in the summer. The nest looked like this. A coin of two euro in the picture makes it easier to figure out the dimensions of the nest.

The nest of a pied flycatcher is totally different from a nest of a great tit. Here is a couple of pictures of both.


The last three chicks fledged. For a while they were seen in the trees nearby but they dissappeared soon during the afternoon. The female will take care of them until they are able to take care of them selves.

The second chick fledged at 10:25 am.

The fledging on the video:

030710_toinen_poikanen_lahtee.wmv - 390 kb, 30 sec, 320 x 240

A video was also recorded outside of the box to see how the chick is flying for the very forst time. It does it amazingly good.

030710_toinen_poikanen_lahtee_ulkokuva.wmv - 257 kb, 19 sec, 320 x 240

Then there was an argument between the two remaining chicks. They both wanted to go to the entrance at the same time. Looks very funny, indeed! Look at the two spiders in the pics and videos before this one. After this flutter the spiders with they webs are gone!

030710_tungosta_aukolla.wmv - 456 kb, 35 sec, 320 x 240

The third chick fledged at about 12:50 pm.

030710_kolmas_poikanen_lahtee.WMV - 177 kb, 12 sec, 320 x 240

The third one fledged at the same time when the tape had to be replaced in the video-recorder for the outside picture of the box. So there is no outside-video for this chick.

Last chick fledge at 13:06 pm.

The last one went to the entrance just after the third one left. It did not came down any more before it "left the building".

030710_neljas_poikanen_lahtee.wmv - 84 kb, 5 sec, 320 x 240

Again it is showing us an exelent ability to fly for the very first time. Amazing!

030710_neljas_poikanen_lahtee_ulkokuva_hi.wmv - 151 kb, 5 sec, 320 x 240

There was something stange also discovered in the outside picture. Another bird, seems to be an other female. It's difficult from this picture to be totally sure if it is a female. But if it is, why is it here and what is it doing? Was there two females feeding the chicks all the time? We don't know. Look at the videos and make your own decision.

030710_kaksi_naarasta_ulko_1.WMV - 119 kb, 7 sec, 320 x 240

030710_kaksi_naarasta_ulko_2.WMV - 74 kb, 4 sec, 320 x 240

So this was the nesting for the summer. A new nesting for this year is not wery likely. In the winter we may have a roosting bird in one or more of the boxes. This box will be cleaned in the near future. Pictures from remaining nest will be put here. There is still the egg mystery. The unhatched egg dissapeared. Is it still in the box of where did it go?

Now we have to wish all the best for our chicks. And a good migration to Africa in the autum!


The first chick fledged today at about 12:30 pm.

Only three left now. The fledged was also stored on video. The chick sat at the hole for about three minutes before fledging. The videoclip is edited to 34 seconds.

030709_ensimmainen_poikanen_lahtee.WMV - 441 kb, 34 sec, 320 x 240

Here is the female outside the box.

And the same on a video clip. It is raining.

030709_emo_kay_pontossa_ulkokuva.WMV - 153 kb, 10 sec, 320 x 240

The male was also flying near the box and was catched on the video tape by accident.

030709_koiras_kay_pontolla_ulkokuva.WMV - 86 kb, 10 sec, 320 x 240


At least one chick has today already looked out from the entry hole.

The whole episode is on the video clip. The video shows clearly how the chick reach the hole. It is jumps and then "fly" to the hole. It is not climbing there.

030708_poikanen_aukolla.WMV - 566 kt, 45 sek, 320 x 240


All four chicks are looking very stong and healthy. Their mom is bringing food to them approximately twenty times in one hour. Open these picture by a mouse click.

The video of today is showing the female feedig her chicks. All of them have the same colour so it is impossible to know the sex of the chics.

030706_ruokinta.WMV - 181 kb, 13 sec, 320 x 240


Mealtime, but every chick is hanging around in different direction.

It is time to try and learn how to use the wings. It's on the video:

030703_siipien_kokeilua.WMV - 290 kt, 22 sek, 320 x 240


The female does not roost in the box anymore. Last night she left the chicks alone for the first time. She came back at 3:40 am and stayed with the chicks until 4:50 pm. The she began to carry food to her kids wich are more and more moving around the nest and breaking down the nest cup.

There are gnats in the box at nights. Here is a video clip from tonight. The chicks are sleeping but looks restless. Gnats or biting lices, or both? Ten days left and then comes the freedom.

030703_poikaset_nukkuu.WMV - 246 kt, 21 sek, 320 x 240


The chicks are much bigger than five days ago. They voice is strong and they are moving very much in the nest. Here is a picture of the feeding.

The female is starting her work early, before five a'clock. Today she seems to continue to carry food as late as half past elewen. It's almost darks already. It is interesting to see if she will roost this night in the box or not. It is quite warm outside so the chicks are doing fine without their mother.

The chicks will fly the nest about 16 days after hatching. So we should see that happening between 10th to 13th July.

Here is a videoclip from today. The female is feeding the chicks and carrying out a poo. Sometimes she eats the poo. Eespecially when it is not as big as this one.

030701_ruokinta_kakkapois.WMV - 322 kb, 24 sek, 320 x 240


The chick hatched yesterday seems to be the last one. One egg remains unhatched. Here is the female feeding the chicks. Four chicks is a good number for the female who is taking care of the alone. She shoud be able to grow up the all.

Here some pictures wich can be opend by clicking them.


Two more eggs hatched. Two eggs remains.

All three chicks looks healthy and the female is feeding them normally. The male has not been here. It's not clear if he has another female also. If so, then he helps the first female to feed the chicks and the other(s) have to do it alone.


The first chick hatched today afternoon at about 6:00 pm.

The tiny chick can be seen in the middle of the last picture. The egg shell is below. The female already fed the chick several times. She gave it some kind of a worm, no insects.

No more chicks were hatched today. All eggs have been incubated for a equally long period so the hatching should occur within a day or so. So we will wait for tomorrow to see more chicks. Everything loos good so far.

The automatically reloading picture box is now set to close itself after one hour. After that the picture can be opened again. This change is only made to reduce the outgoing data from the server. Pictures that no one is watching will close them selves and free resources to some more useful.


Many of you have noticed that the pied flycatcher moves quite nervous especially at nights. By looking the picture from a video tape on a TV on fast forward some bugs can be seen under the eggs. They moves slowly. They are smaller than ants, maybe a millimeter on smaller. What are they? Are they the reason for the nervous behaviour of the bird? Hope the bugs are not fatal for the chicks.

The blackbird has not be seen. It will not return any more. But the nest has been visited by a squirrel, mouses and a cat!

More pictures (15 pcs) here.

It's seems quite clear that the nesting would have failed even without the magpie.


No more eggs today. The final number is five. Hatching expected 23rd to 25th June.


Fifth egg was layed in the morning between 5:10 and 5:55 am.

Serious incubation has begun.


The pied flycatcher roosted last night in the box. Fourth egg was layed in the morning between 4:20 and 5:27 am.

The female spend a lot off time in the nest today. Looks like she is starting to incubate. Only four eggs would be less than normally. Maybe she will lay some more in the beginning of incubation.

The great tits usually covered the eggs when they left the nest during the egg laying period. The flycatcher does not even try to cover them.

The male blackbird visited the nest once. No other action there.


The third egg was layed again early in the morning between 4:40 and 5:00 am.

The female came into the box in the evening at 10:40 pm and she was there still at mid night. Looks like she is going to roost there.

Bad news from the blackbird nest. These picture shows it all:

A magpie (Pica pica) robbed the nest in the afternoon. We examined the nest soon after that just in case there were something to rescue. But there was not. All eggs were gone. The blackbird female sitted a few times in the empty nest but soon she give up.

Blackbirds probably are going to nest again. I don't know if they try it here in the old nest or in some other place. Motion detection is activated to see if some one is still visiting the nest.


The pied flycatchers layed the second egg early in the morning.

A good picture of both male and female blackbird wich shows the slightly different colour. In the right picture is the felame only.


First egg in the flycatcher nest.

Female was laying the egg early in the morning. The egg is greeny blue and is not wery clear in the B/W picture but definitely it is a egg. Female visited the nest about ten times during the day. She did not roost there in ower the night as great tit used to do.

Now we could try estimate the rest of the nesting:

The blackbird is still sitting on the eggs.

The male did also visit the nest a few times. He is totally black and has a yellow beak. The female is brown.

I succeed to look in the nest with a mirror. There are FIVE eggs. Black bird usually have 3 to 6 eggs and it is incubating 13 days. The chicks stays in the nest for 14 days.

Because the female was incubating already 1ts June the eggs should hatch duing next week. Not later than friday 13th.,

This nest is in a place where a squirrel or even a cat can go. I wish it will not happen, but is is possible.


Nest in the evening.


Nest in the evening. There is no big progress visible.

The camera for the blackbird nest (Turdus merula) is now ready and on line. Here some pictures about the project.

The camera and four IR-leds are mounted on a pice of plywood.

In the other end there is a strong magnet. The whole installation is fixed with magnet under the tin roof of the stack of wood. I tried to photograph the nest to find out how many eggs there are but it's impossible to reach it with the arm. Only two eggs can be seen on the picture. Here is the nest:

And finally, here is one of the first pictures of the blackbird nest taken by the new camera:


Here is the nest at the end of the day.

Female started to work at four in the morning. At 8:45 pm she visited the nest for the last time.

A few days ago i found a nest of a blackbird (Turdus merula) in a stack of wood. The incubating female ran away just in front of me when I was carrying some firewood the the sauna. I had one camera left from the project of the first camerabox. Now the camera is installed in the stack of wood near the blackbird nest. If I get it properly adjusted I will put the picture here. I have of course no idea for how long the female has incubated.


The nestbuilding is coming on just fine. First visit in the box at about 4 a'clock in the morning. Very big lesves is used as material. In the left picture is leaves from a birch and oak.

Colour of the female is quite close to the nest material. Thats why it is not easy to see the bird in the nest.

Building eneded for the day at about 7:30 pm. Here is the nest at the end of the day.

The building is progressing faster than last year when a great tit nested in the same box.


The old box was better after all. At least if you ask these pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) who started to build a nest in box 1. Yesterday evening it was totally empty and today there was already a good amount of material.

At the end of the day the nest look like this.

Most of the material is hay and some leaves. The great tit is using mostly moss at this point.

The male has also visited the box although it is not bringing any material.

The day was the busiest so far this summer. The flycatchers visited also box 2 and 3 many times during the day.


The pied flycatcher female was in box 3 in the morning. It spend there several minutes from 7:29 am to 7:33 am.

The female did not return after this visit. The male spend the whole day near the box singing and making inspections inside. It entered the box 30 times. In box 2 it was only 2 times.

This gives a little hope again that the flycatcher may nest here. There is nothing to do but wait...


No visits in box 2. 2 visits in box 3.


6 visits in box 2. 11 visits in box 3.


No visits in box 2. 1 visit in box 3.


5 visits in box 2. 15 visits in box 3.


6 visits in box 2 and 55 (Yes, thats right, 55) visits in box 3.

Yet an interesting picture from the morning:

Is the other bird a female or another male? That can not be seen on the picture. There were several pictures captured with two bird on from 8:26 am to 8:29 am. One picture already in the morning at 4:05 am.


5 visits in box 2 and 23 visits in box 3.


6 visits in box 2 and 11 visits in box 3.


Because of, or despite of, the material that was put into box 3 yestarday it was today a very busy day. The mail flycatcher visited box 3, 22 times and box 2, 18 times. Here are the times of visits in a table:

Box 3

There is not a big difference in box 2 and 3. Maybe the male is now trying to get another female in these boxes. He already have at least one female now in the neighbours box? I'm not even sure if it the same male visiting these boxes. There were two males sitting in a tree near box 2. Then there was a short aerial battle and both birds disappeared in the forest. I also heared the song of two males simultaneously so there are at least two of them nearby. There was also a great tit peeking in box two. And a northern bullfinch visited the garden. It is usually seen only in winter.

Here are some beautiful pictures from today:

Inner diameter of the box is 125 x 125 mm (5" x 5").


A pied flycatcher is building a nest in box wich is in the garden next to mine. It's about 25 meters from box number 2. The couple was still flying around my boxes also. The male still keeps them as his own. We have to hope that he will find another female who then could nest here.

Today I put some nest material in box 3. It is just a try to make the box more attractive for birds. Don't know if it works.

No pictures of birds today, but a very good picture of a bumble bee:


Here is a picture of a bird wich is not black as the pied flycatcher. Could it be the female?

Here is the male on the right picture from last week. You can see the different colour.

There was a suggestion in the guest book today: Maybe some nest material applied in the box would make the bird to start the nest building. So i decided to try. Maybe already tomorrow afternoon. It can't do any harm anyway.


Only one visit on box 2. A modification made on the front page. Box 2 and 3 are now visible. There has bin so little activity in box1 that it will be monitored only manually until further notice.


A new picture archive is on line. There is now pictures stored from both monitored boxes. Every picture is stored, not only 200 recent. Pictures marked with yellow "New" are less than 24 hours old. In the folder list page "New" is working as a link and it shows only pictures less than 24 old. Older pictures will later be stored manually in separate folders. Thanks for SPGM, the excellent PHP-script that makes this work!

Finally today the female was also seen. It was inspecting the box no. 2 with the male. Here in the picture the male is inside the box and female is peekin in.

This is promising. The female probably is free and she is going to nest. Hope she will do it here.

On saturday, day before yesterday, it rained the whole day. No birds in boxes. On other days box no. 2 and 3 has been regularly visited. The only visit lately in box 1 is here.

I think I will soon switch over from box 1 and will concentrate more on box 2 and 3. There seems to be more activity in those.


Nothing new to report. The new boxes seems to interest the pied flycatcher more than the old one. The bird has visited them both several times every day. It does not necessarily go inside but it just flying to the hole and sitting there for a vhile. Some times it is peeking inside, sometimes not. Then it moves to a branch nearby and sings, flies back to the hole, to the branch, sing, flies to the other box, doing the same things there, goes away. No female has been visible.

There was an error on the entry at 8th May 2003 and it is now corrected. One of our reader kindly noticed and informed about it. It was not the pied flycatcher at all.


Nothing in box number 1 today. Two visits in box three:

There is a proverb in Finnish: "Early bird snatch the worm." Hard to translate but it means that you should be out in time to get things done. The pied flycatcher does not eat worms but despite that it is out very early.

Trees, birch and rowan, are starting to grow leafs after the winter. They are now clearly green for the first time this year.


The pied flycatcher was peeking into box one at 8:59 am and 6:27 pm.

In box three it was peeking at 6:06 am, 11:18 am and 11:30 am. Inside the box it was at 7:27 to 7:29 pm and 8:04 to 8:05 pm.


Peeking inside box one:

Another peeking in the evening at 6:27 pm. Also a peeking in box two at 6:16 am. A pied flycatcher in all cases.


This entry has been corrected at 14th May 2003. This is not the pied flycatcher at all. It is a redstart male (Phoenicurus phoenicurus).

It visited the box several times duing a period from 3:19 pm to 4:58 pm. Best of the pictures are here.

This was the first observation ever of a redstart in the box.

The other monitored box was number 3. Only one picture was captured there of some one peeking in the box.


The cable of box number 3 is now ready and the box was today controlled by computer. The camera was first installed in wrong direction, it was corrected later today. Anyway, here are the first pictures of a pied flycatcher inside a box. The visit lasted 25 seconds and it was the only one during the day.

Later in the evening there was a bug:

So far the new boxes seems to be more interesting among the birds. The only observations within nearly four weeks from the old box are these two pictures from day before yeaterday:


Allmost nothing has happened for a while. But now the pied flycatcher has arrived. It is looking for a place to nest, flying around from one box to another. And it is singing the whole day. Females are also already here so there is a good possibility that something interesting will soon happen.

Two new camera-boxes are installed in threes nearby. One in a birch (Box 2) and the other in an oak (Box 3).

Box 2 in the birch is already connected to the computer and motion detection is activated. There has already been some birds looking inside of the new box.

Bird in the first picture is unidentified. In the other three pictures it is a pied flycatcher. The cable from box 3 is already inside the house but is still missing the connectors. Only half an hour after the box was installed there was a pied flycatcher examining it from the out side. Few hours later there was a blue tit but the pied flycatcher drived it off. There were also a couple off great tits fighting with the pied flycatcher so there sure is something happening now.

It is not possible to monitore all three boxes with the computer in use. We will be monitoring the first and original box number 1 and one of the new boxes. If there will be a nesting in one of the new boxes then we will concentrate on that one. I stongly hope we could follow a nesting of some other bird than great tit this year.


After a week without nothing there was a bird visiting the box today.


Here are all the information collected about the roosting great tit from winter 2002..2003. It roosted every night since November 7th 2002 until Mars 18th 2003. Times when the bird left the box in the morning and came back in the evening were collected since November 17th. Also temperatures during departure and arrival were collected. A few values are missing due to technical malfunctions. You find the table here.

Here are two pictures made using the data in the table.

The first table shows times of departure and arriwal compared to times of sunrise and sunset. The correlation is clearly seen. The black lines are just trends.

The second table shows temperatures. There were big changes in the temperature last winter but it does not seem to affect the behavior of the bird.

You will get bigger pictures by clicking on them.


The winter came back. Snow has bin falling the whole day. There is now more than 10 cm of new and wet snow on the ground. But this bird does not care about it. It looks very curious.


Pictures from the morning. The bird visited the box at least twice.


A visit in the morning today.

Now it's clean inside. Should be nothing to complain about. :-)


The box and the camera is cleaned after the winter.

There was some excrement on the bottom. Not very much. Far less than in another box cleaned in the end of January. (You see it when you scroll this page down.)


Picturres from the morning.

Impossible to say if this is the same bird that roosted here. Next week I try to find some time to clean up the box.


The great tit roosting here since November 7th 2002 did not arrive tonight. This is so far the last picture of the bird from this morning.

He did not tell where he was going. Maybe he is looking for some other place where to nest, we don't know.

The spring is already here. Today the temperature was above zero the whole day.

So we are going to wait. Maybe the bird will came back, maybe not. The time will show that.


Here is the third picture of the bird flying out fom the box.

Look at an GIF-animation - 355 kt.

I had just started the camera and was going to leave it alone when the bird came out from the box. I think it did not like me. You can see how it curved strongly to the right immediately after leaving the hole. It looks quite scared.

Now we know for sure that this bird is a male.


To find out if this bird is a male or a female I put a video camera to record picture out side of the box before the bird entered it in the evening. Here is the result:

Look at an GIF-animation. - 209 kb

Next week I try to photo the bird when it leave the box in the morning. That picture should answer the question about the sex.


Here is a blue tit visiting the box! The picture is already a few days old. I find it when I was looking throuh pictures from last week.


Today I checked another nest box in the garden. There was no nesting last summer and in the autum the box was clean inside. Now there was a lot of excrement on the bottom. Some one seems to be roosting in this box, too.

Once again we can see here how important the nest boxes are also in the wintertime. Especially in colder climes.


How much does the bird move during the night? To see that I made a video from pictures collected on 16th and 17th Januaru between 2:40 pm and 9:12 am. Eighteen hours is shrinked to less than a minute. The video is available in MPG-and RM-(RealMedia) formats.

030116_tintti_nukkuu.mpg - 2174 kb, 45 sec, 320 x 240
030116_tintti_nukkuu.rm - 602 kb, 19 sec, 320 x 240


The link page opened.


The new year begun in a quite cold weather. A great tit has been using the box at nights and roosted there since November 7th 2002. Here's the first picture of the year.

There is still a long time before the spring and summer. At the moment the cold weather is making the life quite hard and a bit dangerous for the bird. All great tits will not survive the winter. Coldness is one of their biggest enemy. This individual has a quite good place to roost and plenty of food. I gues so because it is not eating on the feeder of my own. So I think it find better food some other place.

It is perhaps not always very interesting to look at a roosting bird. However it is good to realize how important the bird boxes can be also in winter. Especially when the winter is cold. The bird is roosting there more than 16 hours a day.

The front page of the site was slightly renewed today and a weather banner was added. In the near future I will add a link page and maybe later a forum where it is possible to discuss about things. Is there need for a forum. Tell me!

I wish a good and happy new year for all viewers of the BirdBoxCam!