Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Blackcaps still

A little bird told me that the blackcaps that have been around since December would appreciate a nice pear. Half was put in the the back garden, and half in the front.
The female found the one in the back, and demolished it over a few days, fighting off all comers, even those which - like the tits - had no interest in the pear but preferred the other goods on offer.
The male, however, ignored the pear and kept to the suet, again chasing away any competition although this particular blue-tit was not easily scared off.
The male blackcap has a blotch on his cheek making him easy to identify, so I'll keep the feeders well stocked and will see if he stays into the spring. The theory is that many over-wintering blackcaps are migrants from continental Europe, which return in the spring to be replaced by 'normal' birds that have spent the time in Africa.
If this one stays and establishes a territory it might indicate that it's a British bird. But it could be argued that it only stayed because of the food supply.



Greenie said...

Steve ,
Like you , I have not found any definitive ' foreign or native ' Blackcap reports .
Even if you write up a PhB after your observations , the fat ball / pear slant could contaminate the results , as you state yourself .
Still great to have had them all winter , and great shots .
ps. I don't think the first shot is a Blackcap !

Warren Baker said...

Blackcaps wont be on my patch till April - no matter how many pears I put out!! :-)

Kingsdowner said...

Are you sure? The identification of nearly-identical species will be the death of me.

Mary said...

I hope your Blackcaps stay. The pear was a good idea apparently.