Tuesday, 10 May 2011

A prize for the best dressed nest


On our wildlife friendly farm the worlds of the farm animals and wildlife really do collide quite often. Take our House Sparrow population as an example. Since moving to the farm Mum has kept bird records for the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) for many years and it is really noticeable that our sparrow population has grown since increasing the chicken flock. So what is the relationship? The answer is corn … all our chickens are corn fed and free ranging, which leads to plenty of excess corn about the place for the sparrows to feed on too. In the process of increasing their farm flock the sparrows have also done some nest building, which is where the photo comes in. Our wide range of chickens gave them a lovely selection of feathers to choose from. Its hard to tell exactly which feather came from who but I’d guess at the reddish brown ones being Barnevelder, the black and white being Maran or Plymouth Barred Rock, and there are definitely some Buff Orpingtons and perhaps some Gold Campines too. It is almost worthy of being turned into a hat for Ascot. If you fancy a game of “spot the feather” go to www.tynyllidiart.co.uk/feistyfowl for some breed photos and take your pick.

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