Last year we reported that a number of schools across Derbyshire had installed nest boxes of their own, and had joined together to share images from their nest box cameras. It’s called the Derbyshire Schools Birdcam Project. This year even more have joined and all are now enjoying the opportunity to witness the nesting habits of birds at first hand.
Not every school has been lucky enough to have activity in their own boxes - that's nature for you. But they can all enjoy the successes of other schools through their project website and blog. Each school also has their own birdcam blog where children, parents and members of the community record their observations. All comments are moderated prior to publication online, of course.
Right now there is plenty to watch in the school boxes:
The first blue tit chicks hatched out over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend. This was followed by a succession of hatchings in other boxes including two great tit broods, with the final couple expected by this weekend. This year, the project schools are also enjoying images from a camera set up over a kestrel nest site at Povey Farm near Dronfield. Six eggs have been laid with the chicks due to hatch towards the end of this month."
Next week Derby Museum & Art Gallery welcomes the children from Brigg Infants on a school educational visit to trial run our new peregrine falcon teaching session. Here's some work they did based on our birds last year:
For schoolchildren it’s probably far more exciting to watch a blue tit feed a caterpillar to baby birds in their own school nest box than it is to watch peregrine falcons miles away up a Cathedral Tower. But all around us spring marches on, and very soon UK TV's annual "BBC Springwatch" will be starting. This is a two week opportunity for the whole country to stop what it's doing for one hour each evening and sit enthralled by some of the most amazing live views of UK nature that TV engineers can provide. Still not as good as your very own blue tits and peregrines, though!