The Daily Bird #694.

This year I finally managed to make a picture of a singing male black redstart. They are always nesting somewhere close, but I never found out where exactly. Possibly in my neighbour’s garden.

They are cheeky and swift builders – one day I forgot to close the barn door for the afternoon and they have built a nest in there, that I found out a few days later (abandoned, of course, since the barn was closed in the meantime). I am trying to provide them with suitable nesting places but they insist on building nests in the most insane places possible, where I only find them when I destroy them by accident at the same time – like in the concrete mixer, or under the cover on the wood chopping block. I have to be careful to close doors and windows in the spring, and to cover any holes where I do not wish to be surprised by a bird’s nest.

I do not mind them nesting here, what I do mind is me accidentaly destroing said nests.

Male Black Redstart

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.


  1. jazzlet says

    He looks like he’s singing his heart out, a lovely photo.

    At our last house we had two of a pair of wren’s rotating nest sites right by the house -- they have several and use them in turn over the years which reduces parasite burden on the chicks. One of the nests was on the lintel inside the side passage (oddly internal to the house) so that one passed under them every time one used it. The other was in a hole in our neighbour’s off-shot kitchen stone wall, which faced our off-shot kitchen, and was opposite our kitchen door. You could watch them feeding the chicks while (not) doing the washing up. However that nest hole was too small once the chicks grew, inevitably one would get shoved out by the others before they were old enough and one would find the pathetic scrap in the flowerbed below. This never happend with the lintel nest as they could make it big enough to accomodate all of the chicks, but the hole in the wall was just not large enough, yet they returned to it every few years regardless. The amount of noise a wren makes always startles me, so much sound coming from such a small bird!

  2. rq says

    I hope he finds an appreciative audience, because he’s certainly putting his soul into it. Awesome capture!

  3. DonDueed says

    jazzlet: I have wrens too, though they’re shy and not so close to my house as yours. I agree that wrens are definitely YELLING BIRDS.

  4. Nightjar says

    Great shot, Charly, I can almost hear his song! :)

    Yeah, they try to build nests everywhere, we’ve had a rather scary experience on that front when they tried to build inside our gas water heater. In summer, our water is heated through the solar thermal collector and we can go for weeks/months without using the gas water heater, so I guess they saw an opportunity there and started filling it up with nesting material. I wasn’t home when the explosion almost happened, but from what I was told no birds were harmed. The water heater didn’t survive, though.

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