The starlings have been busy. It’s probably not too hard to guess what they’ve been doing, given that it’s now officially Spring (Whoop!), and it’s even been spring-like weather to go with it!
If you guessed as nestbuilding (and I rather hope that most readers will have figured that one out) then you’d be right…. sort of.
I say ‘sort of’ for a reason. Now, I do like these birds and they have certainly put in a lot of work – but I would struggle to justify calling it nestbuilding exactly. In general, their idea of adding material to the nest is to fly in with a twig, piece of straw or grass in their bill, get it through the hole, walk over to the nest and literally drop it somewhere. Doesn’t seem to matter where. Just drop it on the pile, have a bit of a shuffle around then go and get another bit.
The video below shows you how they do it. The delay in the bird getting into the nestbox is due to it having a few problems working out how to get the material in through the hole. Interesting to see that a third starling turned up as well..
There is absolutely none of the intricate weaving that you see on a thrush nest for example. If only they knew they were being watched – they might at least have a go at trying to tuck some straggly ends in!
I have a feeling that they have just about finished building/dumping/flytipping now. Firstly, I’ve noticed that there are now a few feathers thrown in for good measure and secondly, the female(I assume) has tonight decided to roost in the nest for the first time in a few nights. She was a roosting ever present since early January then suddenly stopped as soon as the nest started to take shape (shape perhaps not the best description but you know what I mean!). I am wondering then, if she is ready to start laying soon and that’s why she is back overnight again.
Here she is settling down, or trying to at least. It took her quite a while to get comfortable, which is understandable I suppose given that she is just sitting on a pile of twigs, straw and grass!
One way to find out I suppose. Wait and see! I’ll post an update here as soon as I see the first egg. We could even try a sweepstake – anyone wnat to suggest a date for the first egg? I’m going with Sunday morning….
One final picture of her tonight in what I think is the completed nest, fast asleep with her head firmly tucked under a wing..