With spring underway and the birds beginning to nest, this blue tit is settling into a particularly fancy little home for season.
This novel birdbox, which has been designed to look like a tiny human living room, is the brainchild of wildlife expert and consultant Kate MacRae, who designed and built the nesting site using doll house furniture.
Furthermore, MacRae has fitted a camera inside of the bird box in order to livestream all the action from her English garden in Lichfield, Staffordshire to the internet.
“This box has been giving us amazing footage and I cannot describe how excited I was when the first blue tit entered the box and had a good look around,” said McRae. “What is going through her mind as she looks at the cat ornament on the shelf and the potted plant? Does she approve of the mini avian-themed wallpaper?”
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MacRae has been filming the wildlife in her garden over the last ten years with a plethora of cameras that are wired back to a central computer so she can watch the recordings.
“The birds are a pair but it’s difficult to tell the male from the female until the eggs are laid. It will be the female that sits on them,” she added. “It was really the idea that they will live in the box for the next five or six weeks so I wanted to create a space that looks like a living room, but you’re limited with what to include because you can’t impede on the nesting space too much.
“I have spent the winter planning this box and experimenting with different set-ups. The box was all made using 1/12th dolls house furniture along with wood, cardboard and paper.
“It took me about two weeks to get the interior right and several days to get the camera positioned perfectly,” continues McRae. “It is so important that you get it right so that the birds aren’t affected. I had to experiment with lots of different furniture to get the effect.
“It is vital that the materials I use and design do not create any dangers for the wildlife, [so] everything is securely glued down and the items are made of paper card or wood.”
The box is part of a project with her sponsors CJ Wildlife as a means of capturing the imagination of the public and get them engaged with the wildlife in their own spaces.
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“Many of us are unaware of the wonderful wildlife that is right outside our window,” said MacRae. “I can engage with an audience that doesn’t normally engage with this. Once they are hooked they can return to see how the birds are getting on. I posted one tweet with some footage and it has had 250,000 impressions.
If you want to check up on the living room bird box or take a peek at any of MacRae’s other feathery livestreams, you can visit her WildlifeKate online blog.
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