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N 90 B 422 C 39 E Jul 6, 2020 F Jul 11, 2020
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Jay - Garrulus Glandarius

Although they are the most colourful members of the crow family, jays are actually quite difficult to see. They are shy woodland birds, rarely moving far from cover. The screaming call usually lets you know a jay is nearby and it is usually given when a bird is on the move, so watch for a bird flying between the trees with its distinctive flash of white on the rump. Jays are famous for their acorn feeding habits and in the autumn you may see them burying acorns for retrieving later in the winter.

The word jay has an archaic meaning in American slang meaning a person who chatters impertinently.

The term jaywalking was coined in 1915 to label persons crossing a busy street carelessly and becoming a traffic hazard. The term began to imply recklessness or impertinent behavior as the convention became established.

In January 2014, Canadian author Robert Joseph Greene embarked on a lobbying campaign among ornithologists in Europe and North America to get Merriam-Websters Dictionary to have a "Jabber of Jays" as an official term under bird groups.

Population:

UK breeding:
170,000 territories


Tags:   Jay Jays Countryside Copse Corvids Avian Animal Animals Birds. Bird Bird Photography Garden Birds Grasslands Glades Wildlife. Wildbirds Wetlands Woodlands Woodland Wildlife Photography Jeff Lack Photography Farmland Forest Fields Forestry Forests Trees Nature Nature Photography Nikon Ornithology

N 133 B 752 C 59 E Jul 6, 2020 F Jul 11, 2020
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Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus (Juvenile)


The common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is a bird of prey species belonging to the kestrel group of the falcon family Falconidae. It is also known as the European kestrel, Eurasian kestrel, or Old World kestrel. In Britain, where no other kestrel species occurs, it is generally just called "the kestrel".

This species occurs over a large range. It is widespread in Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as occasionally reaching the east coast of North America.

Kestrels can hover in still air, even indoors in barns. Because they face towards any slight wind when hovering, the common kestrel is called a "windhover" in some areas.

Unusual for falcons, plumage often differs between male and female, although as is usual with monogamous raptors the female is slightly larger than the male. This allows a pair to fill different feeding niches over their home range. Kestrels are bold and have adapted well to human encroachment, nesting in buildings and hunting by major roads. Kestrels do not build their own nests, but use nests built by other species.

Their plumage is mainly light chestnut brown with blackish spots on the upperside and buff with narrow blackish streaks on the underside; the remiges are also blackish. Unlike most raptors, they display sexual colour dimorphism with the male having fewer black spots and streaks, as well as a blue-grey cap and tail. The tail is brown with black bars in females, and has a black tip with a narrow white rim in both sexes. All common kestrels have a prominent black malar stripe like their closest relatives.

The cere, feet, and a narrow ring around the eye are bright yellow; the toenails, bill and iris are dark. Juveniles look like adult females, but the underside streaks are wider; the yellow of their bare parts is paler. Hatchlings are covered in white down feathers, changing to a buff-grey second down coat before they grow their first true plumage.

Data from Britain shows nesting pairs bringing up about 2–3 chicks on average, though this includes a considerable rate of total brood failures; actually, few pairs that do manage to fledge offspring raise less than 3 or 4. Compared to their siblings, first-hatched chicks have greater survival and recruitment probability, thought to be due to the first-hatched chicks obtaining a higher body condition when in the nest. Population cycles of prey, particularly voles, have a considerable influence on breeding success. Most common kestrels die before they reach 2 years of age; mortality up until the first birthday may be as high as 70%. At least females generally breed at one year of age; possibly, some males take a year longer to maturity as they do in related species. The biological lifespan to death from senescence can be 16 years or more, however; one was recorded to have lived almost 24 years.

Population:

UK breeding:

46,000 pairs

Tags:   Kestrel Kestrels Birds. Bird Bird Photography Birds of Prey Raptors Heathland Hedgerows Heathlands Hawk Hawks Avian Animal Animals Wildlife. Wildbirds Wetlands Woodlands Woodland Wildlife Photography Jeff Lack Photography Juvenile Moorland Marshland Meadows Moors Verges Farmland Fields Forestry Nature Nature Photography Nikon Ornithology

N 189 B 1.2K C 85 E Jul 6, 2020 F Jul 10, 2020
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Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus (Juvenile)


The common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is a bird of prey species belonging to the kestrel group of the falcon family Falconidae. It is also known as the European kestrel, Eurasian kestrel, or Old World kestrel. In Britain, where no other kestrel species occurs, it is generally just called "the kestrel".

This species occurs over a large range. It is widespread in Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as occasionally reaching the east coast of North America.

Kestrels can hover in still air, even indoors in barns. Because they face towards any slight wind when hovering, the common kestrel is called a "windhover" in some areas.

Unusual for falcons, plumage often differs between male and female, although as is usual with monogamous raptors the female is slightly larger than the male. This allows a pair to fill different feeding niches over their home range. Kestrels are bold and have adapted well to human encroachment, nesting in buildings and hunting by major roads. Kestrels do not build their own nests, but use nests built by other species.

Their plumage is mainly light chestnut brown with blackish spots on the upperside and buff with narrow blackish streaks on the underside; the remiges are also blackish. Unlike most raptors, they display sexual colour dimorphism with the male having fewer black spots and streaks, as well as a blue-grey cap and tail. The tail is brown with black bars in females, and has a black tip with a narrow white rim in both sexes. All common kestrels have a prominent black malar stripe like their closest relatives.

The cere, feet, and a narrow ring around the eye are bright yellow; the toenails, bill and iris are dark. Juveniles look like adult females, but the underside streaks are wider; the yellow of their bare parts is paler. Hatchlings are covered in white down feathers, changing to a buff-grey second down coat before they grow their first true plumage.

Data from Britain shows nesting pairs bringing up about 2–3 chicks on average, though this includes a considerable rate of total brood failures; actually, few pairs that do manage to fledge offspring raise less than 3 or 4. Compared to their siblings, first-hatched chicks have greater survival and recruitment probability, thought to be due to the first-hatched chicks obtaining a higher body condition when in the nest. Population cycles of prey, particularly voles, have a considerable influence on breeding success. Most common kestrels die before they reach 2 years of age; mortality up until the first birthday may be as high as 70%. At least females generally breed at one year of age; possibly, some males take a year longer to maturity as they do in related species. The biological lifespan to death from senescence can be 16 years or more, however; one was recorded to have lived almost 24 years.

Population:

UK breeding:

46,000 pairs

Tags:   Kestrel Kestrels Avian Animal Animals Birds. Bird Birds of Prey Bird Photography Heathland Hedgerows Heathlands Heaths Hawk Hawks Countryside Coastal Birds Copse Coast Cliffs Raptors Farmland Fields Forestry Hover Wildlife. Wildbirds Wetlands Woodlands Wildlife Photography Jeff Lack Photography Nature Nature Photography Nikon Ornithology

N 148 B 1.2K C 92 E Jul 6, 2020 F Jul 10, 2020
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European Badger - Meles meles

Badgers are short, stout, powerful animals that live in underground 'setts' that can extend well over 50 metres long! Members of the mustelid family (which includes pine martens, otters, polecats, ferrets and the wolverine), the European badgers' range extends from Britain, across Europe and to the middle east.

The badger is one of the UK's most recognised and popular mammals, bringing pleasure to thousands of people and is a living symbol of the British countryside.
In the UK, badgers live in mixed-sex groups of between four and eight animals in underground 'setts'. A social group living together in the same sett is also known as a 'clan'. While badgers tend to live in groups, they do not always act cooperatively with their fellow clan members. Badgers are unique in this way as individuals in a clan will forage for food on their own, unlike other social groups of animals who might hunt together and reap the benefit as a group.

A badger’s sense of smell is a particularly important sense as it plays a vital role in communication. Badgers have several scent glands which produce a variety of odours, used for distributing information like warning signals and mating status.

Scents produced are also used to tighten bonds between social groups, with studies suggesting that clan members have similar scents. Badgers also deposit scents in their feces and will typically defecate in shallow dug pits known as latrines, which are found on territorial boundaries.

Badgers distribute their scent information through techniques known as squat marking (dipping their rear and lifting their tails) and allo-marking (marking each other). Can you identify this behaviour in our video library?

The diet of a badger is extremely varied, with badgers being described by expert Professor Tim Roper as "opportunistic omnivores". Earthworms are the core of the badger's diet, often by as much as 60 per cent. In a single night, an adult badger may eat well over 200 worms!

When conditions are harsh (hard frosts, dry or barren areas of habitat), worms can be scarce. Cleverly, badgers are able to shift to other food items, including snails, slugs and soft fruit like raspberries and fallen blackberries. Badgers will occasionally eat hedgehogs if normal prey items are not abundant - read more about badgers and hedgehogs below.

Badgers mate at almost any time of the year, but due to an unusual reproductive technique, known as delayed implantation, they have only one litter a year. Litter size ranges from one to five cubs, with two or three the more common number. Cubs are born in chambers lined with bedding material that the females (sows) gather and drag into the breeding chamber. Straw, hay, grass, fern are all commonly used, which keep the cubs warm. Most cubs are born in early to mid-February and will emerge above ground at around 12 weeks. At 16 weeks, cubs will be displaying most adult social behaviours, including grooming and scent marking.

Tags:   Badger Brock Mustelid Animal Animals Mammal Gardens Heathland Heathlands Heaths Hedgerows Wildlife. Woodlands Woodland Woods Wildlife Photography Jeff Lack Photography Farmland Forest Fields Forests Forestry Sett Underground Nature Nature Photography Nikon

N 159 B 1.3K C 80 E Jul 6, 2020 F Jul 9, 2020
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Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus (Male)


The common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is a bird of prey species belonging to the kestrel group of the falcon family Falconidae. It is also known as the European kestrel, Eurasian kestrel, or Old World kestrel. In Britain, where no other kestrel species occurs, it is generally just called "the kestrel".

This species occurs over a large range. It is widespread in Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as occasionally reaching the east coast of North America.

Kestrels can hover in still air, even indoors in barns. Because they face towards any slight wind when hovering, the common kestrel is called a "windhover" in some areas.

Unusual for falcons, plumage often differs between male and female, although as is usual with monogamous raptors the female is slightly larger than the male. This allows a pair to fill different feeding niches over their home range. Kestrels are bold and have adapted well to human encroachment, nesting in buildings and hunting by major roads. Kestrels do not build their own nests, but use nests built by other species.

Their plumage is mainly light chestnut brown with blackish spots on the upperside and buff with narrow blackish streaks on the underside; the remiges are also blackish. Unlike most raptors, they display sexual colour dimorphism with the male having fewer black spots and streaks, as well as a blue-grey cap and tail. The tail is brown with black bars in females, and has a black tip with a narrow white rim in both sexes. All common kestrels have a prominent black malar stripe like their closest relatives.

The cere, feet, and a narrow ring around the eye are bright yellow; the toenails, bill and iris are dark. Juveniles look like adult females, but the underside streaks are wider; the yellow of their bare parts is paler. Hatchlings are covered in white down feathers, changing to a buff-grey second down coat before they grow their first true plumage.

Data from Britain shows nesting pairs bringing up about 2–3 chicks on average, though this includes a considerable rate of total brood failures; actually, few pairs that do manage to fledge offspring raise less than 3 or 4. Compared to their siblings, first-hatched chicks have greater survival and recruitment probability, thought to be due to the first-hatched chicks obtaining a higher body condition when in the nest. Population cycles of prey, particularly voles, have a considerable influence on breeding success. Most common kestrels die before they reach 2 years of age; mortality up until the first birthday may be as high as 70%. At least females generally breed at one year of age; possibly, some males take a year longer to maturity as they do in related species. The biological lifespan to death from senescence can be 16 years or more, however; one was recorded to have lived almost 24 years.

Population:

UK breeding:

46,000 pairs

Tags:   Kestrel Kestrels Birds. Bird Birds of Prey Bird Photography Raptors Avian Animal Animals Wildlife. Wildbirds Wetlands Woodlands Wildlife Photography Jeff Lack Photography Countryside Coastal Birds Copse Coastline Coast Cliffs Heathland Hedgerows Heathlands Heaths Hawks Hawk Verges Moorland Marshland Meadows Moors Nature Nature Photography Nikon Ornithology


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