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20 May 2009

Massacre - Octomum Blue Tit loses 8 to Killer Sparrow

This morning I heard THE worst noises coming from the blue tits bird box outside my hallway window. We got it two years ago on an RSPB bird box bonanza, and it's been happily settled into by a nesting pair each year. Last year we had 4 fledglings, and it was just lovely to watch them in the hawthorn outside the bedroom being taught how to feed.
So, this year, much the same. The last two weeks have seen Mr & Mrs in and out non-stop with worms and grubs so I figured there was a nest full in there, ready to emerge in the next few weeks. 

When I heard the noises today, real squalks and shrieks, they were almost scary. I dashed to the window just in time to see a big sparrow emerge from the front of the box and fly into the tree opposite. My heart sank. Though M insisted it would be fine, and it was probably just having a look, yeah right!! So out came the ladders and up I went, only to have the most hideous sight greet me. 8 dead baby chicks, all huddled in a corner of the box. I though there was only 4, but they were on top of each other. God, it was awful. That bastard sparrow had just gone in a killed them all. It felt like bloody Rwanda at the top of that ladder, he must have sat in the same tree as Mr & Mrs BT, and he'd just slaughtered their kids! I'd had the Octomom of the bird world in my bird box and they were no more. 

After checking with the RSPB what to do, and them telling me I couldn't shoot the sparrow, I got all the little bodies out of the box and we buried them under my orchid tree. With Mr & Mrs flying back and forward into a now empty box. So sad, knowing there are no longer any babies in there, do birds have feelings? They'd need bloody counselling after this.
What a rubbish start to the day. 
Not assisted by M accidentally (?) hitting me in the face with the camera and giving me a fat lip.

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