|A room with a view...|
Tree sparrow box overlooking the Wiltshire countryside
Opening the lid reveals a dome of grass and feathers, a small opening at the top reveals a cup within which the chicks are nestled. With a stubby little face and chocolate brown feathers starting to poke through, the chicks are some of the cutest ugly babies I have seen. Once ringed, the chicks are 'posted' back through the nest hole where they disappear into the comforting darkness.
|Tree sparrow chick|
|A little older and almost ready to leave the nest|
The long term project here aims to understand their breeding ecology. Year after year the boxes are checked, the contents recorded and the chicks ringed. It is a mammoth task, but well worth it with the data generated being used to answer numerous questions about this declining species. A huge thank you to the maestro running this project and collecting this data, Mr Matt Prior!
|Lee and Matt Prior in classic photo pose!|