Nestcam Update – 5 June 2018
Thank you to everyone that tuned in to Curlew Cam to follow along with this nests journey. We were hoping to follow another nest but sadly this has not come to fruition. The nest we had earmarked was a second attempt, with two dummy eggs in place of the two curlew eggs. As this was a second attempt this did not prevent the birds from relaying, and ideally the eggs would be returned to the pair at pipping stage. The birds have since deserted the nest, meaning that the young from those eggs will instead be reared to fledgling stage and released. This also means that there will not be another CurlewCam nest to watch this season. We hope to get some footage from the nest up soon for you to enjoy.
Below is a short film from Billy Clapham, about the tagging of the chicks.
Please support our vital work
Our thanks go to CarnyxWild TV and SWS for setting up and streaming the live footage. However, we need to raise vital funds to cover the costs of keeping the camera running and monitoring the footage. Please give what you can to help by donating below:
Nestcam update – 31 May 2018
The chicks were fitted with radio tags yesterday by ornithologist Tony Cross. Two chicks survived from the clutch of four eggs, one egg did not hatch and one sadly died in the nest. The lost chick was much smaller and lighter than the other chicks.
Once the chicks are born, the adults brood them for up to a couple of days to dry them off and until they gain the strength to stand and walk. You may have seen the chicks popping out from under the adult bird for a mini-forage in the flora around the nest cup. The adults do not feed the chicks which need a good supply of insects to feed upon.
Negotiating the sward is also a challenge for a chick. This is a comparatively open sward and the foraging of the adults whilst on the nest suggest that there is a reasonable invertebrate supply.
In less diverse, agriculturally improved grassland, chicks struggle to travel through dense vegetation and like curlew, insects are diminishing in numbers dramatically with the knock-on effects to many species that this can cause.
We are keen that our chicks should get out to feed now as the weather forecast is for rain and that will impede insect activity and potentially kill the chicks as well.
Hatching eggs and Headstarting
Don’t be alarmed, you may see someone at the nest handling the eggs. This is all part of the new phase of project work, to help win the race against time to save our curlew. Whilst we are at the nest we will also be strimming around the electric fence and carrying out maintenance.
Last year the Curlew Country project applied for a licence to trial incubating eggs, a practice known as headstarting. The eggs in the nest were infertile duck eggs and have been replaced with a clutch that was about to hatch. Some curlew chicks have now arrived, but please remember that survival for any species is always a tricky time with plenty to go wrong. The chicks do not remain in the nest for long, and leave after only a few days in search of food.
To read more about the new phase of the project and in particular the headstarting, please click here.
On Monday the 21st May, the Curlew Country project once again set up a live streaming nest camera, dubbed CurlewCam. The Curlew Country team are busy out nest monitoring, continuing to find nests and protect eggs, meaning we have not got much time to keep watch. We’d love to know if you see a changeover between birds or any other interesting activity at the nest, remember to switch your sound on so that you can hear their calls too! You can let us know via Facebook, Twitter or email on firstname.lastname@example.org.