House sparrow about to fledge

Empty nest

This time last year the first brood of house sparrow chicks in our camera nest box were fledging. And the year before that, ill-fated bluetit chicks had just hatched. This year, for the first time since we put the box up, no birds have shown any inclination to nest in it.

I don’t know why. Our garden is still full of sparrows, emptying the feeders and chattering away. The box is well hidden by a rampant clematis, but it was last year as well. There’s no sign of nesting in our other bird boxes either. And I don’t think they are nesting in our gutter like they used to.

I miss watching them build the nest, brood the eggs, and wait expectantly for them to hatch. And I miss hearing the cheeps, and checking the camera footage to see the moment they fledge. (To cheer myself up, I’ve just rewatched the footage from last year).

Oh well, there’s always next year. And I should get to see plenty of bluetit chicks on my next dormouse box check.

Do you have any idea of why the sparrows aren’t nesting in the box this year?


2 thoughts on “Empty nest”

  1. That is a shame, Annabelle but we must remember the birds will always do as they please and I would suspect that they have found another site more to their liking. At least, you are doing the right thing in providing nest sites and perhaps even more nesting places are required. Birds will sense things which us humans can’t or are yet to fathom. Are there species which act as competition for them about such as House Martins or Starlings for instance? Do cats prowl the neighbourhood? Is there not longer a self landing perch adjacent to the nestboxes. So many questions with probably no straight forward answers but at least it is food for thought.

    Best Wishes

    Tony Powell

    1. Thanks Tony. I don’t think there are any House Martens around (sadly), and there aren’t many starlings this year either. There are a few cats, although they’re more of a problem out the back of the house than in front, where the camera box is. No perches have gone either. I do wonder if the clematis that grows in front of the box is blocking access to it more than last year – maybe I’ll need to prune it a bit more early next year. Anyway, there still seem to be lots of house sparrows about, so hopefully they’ve found some other good nest sites. They seem to like next door’s beech hedge, although I haven’t worked out if they’re nesting there, or just hanging out.

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