Big Schools’ Birdwatch 2015 via @RSPB_Learning

5 January - 13 February via the RSPB

Amazing facts about school birds

  • A blue tit has enough strength in its feet to support something three times its own weight
  • Robins often choose unusual nest sites – kettles, coat pockets and even the skeleton of a dead cat have been known
  • Blackbirds will sometimes steal the snail from the song thrush once the shell is off
  • House sparrows make an untidy nest in eaves but very neat in hedges. They are sociable birds and prefer to nest in colonies
  • The oldest known blue tit survived an amazing 21 years
  • A woodpigeons nest is very flimsy and the eggs can sometimes be seen from below
  • A great tit’s beak changes shape (very slightly) over the year as food changes from insects to nuts and seeds
  • A male starling sometimes has several females, and it is not uncommon for females to dump their eggs in another starling’s nest
  • A group of house sparrows is called a host or a tribe
  • A blue tit weights the same as a pound coin
  • The starling mainly eats spiders, slugs, caterpillars and other invertebrates. It probes for the larvae of craneflies, leaving holes in grassy areas
  • A pair of robins weigh roughly the same as one size 4 chicken egg
  • Starlings form large roosts in the evening. Some roosts attract thousands of birds and you can often see them performing breathtaking aerial manoeuvres
  • Blue tit flocks travel amongst gardens in winter with as many as 200 individuals visiting a single garden in one day
  • The oldest wild blackbird survived over 20 years
  • Not all birds are expert nest builders – sometimes collared doves find their chicks fall through their flimsy nests
  • The male chaffinch’s fresh plumage in autumn gradually wears away to show bright spring colours
  • The great tit times it breeding around caterpillar availability – it may catch 10,000 in a season.
  • Collared doves are very productive. They breed February–October and will often attempt four or five broods with one pair being known to have tried nine times
  • When disturbed, woodpigeons clatter noisily out of trees and bushes. In its aerial territorial display, it flies up steeply, then claps its wings together above its back with a sharp slap before gliding down steeply
  • Although quite sociable, greenfinches squabble among themselves and sometimes with other birds at the bird table
  • Robins love cheese, butter and mealworms
  • Male and female blue tits look the same to us, but to each other, they look very different. Blue tits can see ultra-violet colour that human’s simply can’t see
  • Starlings – you can tell the sexes apart by the colour of the base of the bill – blue for males, pink for females!

All images provided by RSPB

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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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