Visit the Schools Reports page on the website every friday to find out what schools in the Bird Box project are doing to develop their school grounds and give nature a home.
Would your school like to share what it is doing to promote wildlife? Send a short report and small selection of photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org
St Margaret's C of E Primary, Crawley
At St Margaret’s, this year has been quite special! We’ve got a new headmistress, we’re beginning to build the wildlife pond, and the most recent addition is the bird and bee boxes. That bit is what this is about! You’re probably reading this if you’re on the see nature website, or the St Margret's website. When you read this, you’ll find out about the chicks, mysterious empty bird boxes, and the bees! So read on reader…
Tim and Paul, who lead the project, installed the boxes and then talked to the whole school about the project. The excitement was tangible. Within days of the boxes being installed we had Blue Tits investigating the boxes. The children quickly started commenting on the website, eager to see which bird might take up residence first. As the nests began to take shape the race was on to see whose box would get the first eggs. Bets were placed amongst highly competitive staff, and cheers of excitement as the first egg shaped feather deceived us all. Finally, the eggs arrived and the incubation began.
We have 5 bird boxes at St Margaret’s, and 3 have chicks, 1 has eggs, and the last one is mysteriously empty… But you’ll find out about that later. The boxes are populated by great tits and blue tits. The ones with chicks in were watched by us, and we found it very amusing! The mother bird and the father bird flew out and came back with worms to feed the alien looking chicks! The boxes are located all around the school, so that the birds don’t fight for food.
Now, for the mysterious empty box… well, we don’t know what happened to the bird that was in there. These are our theories: they got eaten by a cat, fox, or dog, they got killed in a fight, or they just decided not to live there anymore! Well, we’ll never really know for sure…
The weather also got a little warmer and the insects were roused from their slumber. Cue more excitement as the first Mason Bee brought in pollen; laid an egg and sealed the first small chamber before repeating the process over and over… Meanwhile, the eggs were beginning to hatch. The bees we have are the only bees with cameras watching them in the whole of England! They are very interesting. The bee lays an egg and then stuffs pollen around it, then repeats this until the whole tube is full. They then stuff more pollen to block the end of the tube up, then the eggs hatch, eat the pollen, and fly out! They are very clever! Nature is clever.
The reason we are doing this, is because animals, bird, insects, all living creatures are dying out, because of humans. Now we can turn it around. On a happier note, here are some great pictures of our population!