At this time of year, the spring air is full of the sounds of countless birds calling and singing. Males are vying with each other for the best territory and trying to attract the perfect mate. If you hear two birds calling to each other, it may well be two males letting each other know not to come any closer to their patch! The aggressive message is completely at odds with the singing that we humans find so melodic and a joy to listen to.
Once birds have paired up, it is important that their eggs are laid in a safe place. Different species opt for different types of homes to settle down in for the season. Many tit species, such as blue tits, will nest in any hole in a wall, tree or nest box. To help our birds along, we have many bird boxes installed on the reserve here at Falls of Clyde.
We have been busy monitoring some of our nest boxes, to see if any breeding birds are using them. So far, we have found that some bird boxes are occupied already and there is evidence of some early stage nest building in other bird boxes.
The breeding season is one of the best times of year to go bird-watching because of all the commotion associated with calling for mates and chasing the competition away. Many birds are very active and as such are much more conspicuous. Just be sure not to get too close to nests or courting birds, as this could cause stress to the birds and they might even abandon their nests.
Sarah Cooper – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Seasonal Ranger
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