Nesting Blackbirds

The natural world has provided us with a wealth of learning material these past few months and this week was no different. Sadly on this occasion, it was a lesson about how cruel nature can be. 

We found this Blackbird nest last week, hidden in the ivy hedge in our garden that has also provided homes for nesting Dunnocks. When we originally discovered the nest it had a baby in it, but sadly, the baby has since gone. We can only assume it was eaten by a cat, rat, fox or squirrel. We hadn't seen Mum all week and when I took a closer look the other day only three stone cold eggs remained. The nest appeared abandoned.

I left it for another few days, just to make certain that Mum wasn't going to come back, and then carefully removed it from the hedge. We are very proud of the amount of wildlife our little urban corner of Cheltenham is able to sustain. Below are three nests from birds that have all made homes in our garden and Jenson can easily identify all three:

Left: Dunnock

Middle: Blue Tit

Right: Blackbird 

Apparently Blackbird babies have quite a high mortality rate. For some reason only around 30% actually grow into adult birds. We were sad to see our baby Blackbird's story end this way. This is in stark contrast to the joy the nesting Blue Tits gave us. It is however good for the children to see all sides of nature and to understand that sometimes, these things happen. It's also great for them to see real eggs in situ, something which Jenson described as awesome! Come the Autumn we shall rummage through the ivy hedge to see if we can discover any more nests, who knows what we will find!