Great Tit Project by Will O’Shea

One of our nest-boxes in Bandon and nest building progression from left to right over the last two weeks. The final picture is of a nest ready for eggs.

One of our nest-boxes in Bandon and nest building progression from left to right over the last two weeks. The final picture is of a nest ready for eggs.

Great tits are one of the most common bird species found in Ireland. As regular visitors to garden feeders, their scientific importance can easily be overlooked. For my PhD, I’m using great tits to investigate the impact that certain behavioural and cognitive traits have on the lives of individuals living in different habitats.

Our study is based on 8 populations in West Cork over which 305 nest-boxes are spread. From the first week in April, the boxes are closely monitored as nests progress from construction to egg laying and finally fledging of juveniles. Last year we had 83 pairs nesting in various sites, which included great tits, blue tits and coal tits. This year we’re expecting an increase on that figure, which will keep us very busy for the next few weeks!

Currently the birds in our sites are still at the nest building phase, however we’re expecting to find our first egg in the very near future. I’ll keep this blog post updated regularly with news from the nests!

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