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Sunday In Germany: Blue Tits Birdy, birdy, in the sky

by Ken Yeager (ACS)

Despite the extended winter/spring here in north Germany with its unseasonable temps andBlue Tits unusual amounts of rain, the birds are doing what birds are supposed to do this time of year…breed. We have a small birdhouse on our rear terrace, installed by either a previous occupant or the landlord, don’t know which, that is currently occupied by a married pair of Blue Tits [Parus (Cyanistes) Caeruleus for you Latin lovers]. The birdhouse was occupied last year but since we didn’t move into the new place until the first of May, we just assumed that since there was little activity on the rear terrace, the birds felt safe and occupied their small house. This year we expected to NOT have residents but that has turned out not to be the case. I have since learned that Blue Tits return to the same nest when possible.

Let me tell you, if being a parent to a human baby is work, the amount of flying and food seeking the parents of the chicks in the birdhouse do is much, much more. They are in and out of the birdhouse every five or six minutes, all day long (Wikipedia says they can be back in forth in 90 second intervals to feed up to eight chicks). It must be a totally exhausting time for these little critters. Earlier, only one of the two was out seeking food or nesting material or whatever, but now both parents are working hard so we assume that the chicks are growing and both parents need to feed them to keep up with their required nourishment.

A few times when I now both birds are gone from the house, I’ve tried to hear something of the chicks but no noise can be heard. After the chicks have left the nest and before the next breeding season, I will cut a hole in the side of the house and Plexiglas it along with a moveable cover so we can look in and see the chicks. My knowledge of birds is pretty small but I have to say I do enjoy learning about them, watching them in their antics and flying abilities. Remarkable how they can zoom into the birdhouse without any collisions and no brakes.

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5 comments to Sunday In Germany: Blue Tits Birdy, birdy, in the sky

  • Frank

    We watch the birds here in S.E. Arizona every morning as we drink our lattes. The doves and the Quail are so beautiful and so attentive to their young.
    As I work on the house in the early afternoon, I notice the vultures circling overhead! I am not sure what that means. I have noticed they are flying lower of late!

    • H. Clark

      Ken,

      We have one (1) hummingbird feeder, plus real flowers like geraniums, impatients, and petunias. We now have two hummingbird friends that keep coming for food, breakfast, lunch, and dinner – every day. We hang the feeder very close to the glass window so we can see them. Funny they don’t share the same feeder, but wait in line, and buzz around the flowers like star wars going on.

      They have hummingbird in Germany, don’t they? Or is it too cold for them – LOL – 🙂

  • Suellen Oliver Campbell

    We have some resident hummingbirds in Houston that live year-round in the wooded areas of our neighborhood. Ours are the emerald-throated variety.

    However, the best time is FAll when the migrating hummers drop by on their way to South Texas and Mexico for the winter. I hang a feeder outside my classroom window and the children alert me when we have visitors to our sugar water. I place it eye-high for the five-yr.olds, and they quickly learn to approach it slowly so as to not frighten away our tiny, thirsty guests.
    For each of my 25 years at this school I have had hummingbirds come to our classroom feeder in Sept.,just like clockwork.
    I have a friend that puts a bit of vodka in her feeders and her yard has 50 hummers at a time buzzing around. Something about that vodka really draws a crowd. It’s hummer DUI-time.

  • frank

    Vodka? Address please? Hic!

  • H. Clark

    Ken,

    Thought you might want to check this my spy bird house out.

    Huong

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