Operation Chough Nest Cameras 2017
4th April 2017 Update
Our pairs of breeding choughs have now been set up in the seclusion aviaries, and nest-building is underway. As usual we have five pairs, and nest building is well under way. (Nest number four is a new pairing, and is still in the “planning” stage).
All four pairs which have started building are now at the same stage – nests fully constructed, and ready to be lined with sheep’s wool and horse hair.
This year we have updated the cameras to High Definition, and the picture quality is quite remarkable – try it on full screen, and it is almost life-size.
The images come from our seclusion aviaries, where we are continuing to breed our choughs as part of our long-term project to conserve and expand the distribution of the species. We have five pairs of nesting choughs, they went from their winter flocking aviary into their individual breeding aviaries in March.
The cameras have a small set of lights inside the nestbox to illuminate activity during the day. At night, they switch to infra-red, and the birds can often be seen roosting, incubating eggs or brooding chicks.
As well as images, there is also sound from the nests. We find this helpful to understand if the adults are doing their ‘feeding call’. This call is needed early on as the chick don’t open their eyes for a few days, they need an audible signal to know that it is the right time to open their mouths for food.