Several people have been asking whether our birds have started nesting yet. While some species such as woodpigeons breed all year round, most wait until the weather warms up and food becomes more plentiful around this time of year. A couple of the earlier nesters include Tawney owls and Ravens, both frequently observed around Aldbourne.
For the last couple of weeks we have spotted adult blackbirds foraging for worms with several dangling in their beaks - a sure sign that they are collecting food for nestlings. Today we saw our first fledging visiting our garden, hoping around at the bottom of a beech hedge while its parents ran back and forth collecting food to feed it. Juvenile blackbirds have lighter brown speckled feathers compared to the adults (females adults are dark brown and adult males are black with bright yellow-orange beaks and eye-rings).
Other signs of nesting behaviour to watch out for include birds carrying sticks in their beaks and broken egg shells on the ground. Two of the most commonly found around the village will be the white eggshells of the woodpigeon and the 'duck-egg' blue slightly smaller ones of the blackbird.