Next Indoor Event

10/02/2016 (Wed)
How birds time their breeding
Dr Eleanor Cole
How birds time their breeding to maximize food availability for their r In seasonal environments, the breeding success of songbirds such as the great tit depends strongly on when in the spring they begin laying their clutch. Great tits primarily rear their chicks on larvae of the winter moth, which in turn feed on the emergent leaves of oak trees. Timing is essential in this system: oak budburst will largely depend on spring temperature, and winter moth caterpillars will hatch out in synchrony with oak budburst so that they can feed on the newly emerged leaves. These caterpillars rapidly pupate and then become inaccessible to birds, resulting in a very short food peak for breeding great tits. From the birds’ perspective, food demand is highest when chicks are about a week old, and therefore in order to time their breeding well, females must begin laying their clutch around a month before the anticipated food peak. How birds are able to predict and track this peak has been the subject of much research, some of which has been carried out at Wytham Woods near Oxford. This talk will present some of this work, exploring how Wytham’s tits have tracked climate change over the last 50 years, what cues they may be using to do this, and how these questions can be studied using satellite imagery.

Next Outing

14/02/2016 (Sun)
Field trip to Kelmscot
Forthcoming Field Trip to Kelmscott, Glos on 14thFebruary 2016
The starting point for this walk is in the National Trust (free) car park in Buscot at 0930 hrs. The village of Buscot is on the A417 between Faringdon and Lechlade. This is usually a level and easy walk alongside the River Thames of about 4 ¾ miles. However after heavy rain it can get trickier with mud and surface water. It is a lovely walk and should provide us with a good cross-section of lowland England birdlife. Hope to see you there, all are welcome

Bird News

Date Species Count Site Who
2016-02-07Linnet18East Hendred: East Hendred DownsJCK
2016-02-02Goosander2River Thames: nr Folly BridgeWAH
2016-02-01Yellowhammer3Otmoor: RSPB reserveMRo
2016-02-01Bullfinch2Otmoor: RSPB reserveMRo
2016-02-01Lesser Redpoll2Otmoor: RSPB reserveMRo
2016-02-01Mistle Thrush1Otmoor: RSPB reserveMRo
2016-02-01Merlin1 FemaleOtmoor: RSPB reserveMRo
2016-02-01Stonechat2Otmoor: RSPB reserveMRo
2016-02-01Stock Pigeon8Otmoor: RSPB reserveMRo
2016-02-01Stonechat2Farmoor Reservoir: Shrike MeadowDJo
2016-01-31Barn Owl1m+1fCassington: A40MRo
2016-01-28Raven3Rollright HeathIL
2016-01-25Ringed Plover1Farmoor ReservoirDJo
2016-01-25Greater White-fronted Goose1Farmoor Reservoir: River ThamesDJo
2016-01-23Yellowhammerc150+Over Norton: Over Norton ParkIL
2016-01-23Tree Sparrowc20+Over Norton: Over Norton ParkIL
2016-01-23Bramblingc10+Over Norton: Over Norton ParkIL
2016-01-23Linnetc60Over Norton: Over Norton ParkIL
2016-01-23Raven3Over Norton: Over Norton ParkIL
2016-01-23Caspian Gull1stwSutton Courtenay: Sutton Courtenay landfillIL

Latest Photos

Greater White-fronted Goose
Yellow-legged Gull