I teach today and logged onto my website at lunch time to check my live stream. I was surprised to see two stock doves in the Studio nest box. The jackdaws have been bringing materials in for the last few days, but I have seen the stock dove pair sitting near by and checking it out. As I was watching a jackdaw also appeared in the box and a huge scuffle ensued…. I was gutted that I was at school and could not video what was happening! As I watched, another jackdaw came in too… 4 birds in there and a lot of crashing about, pecking and flying feathers…
This story continued all day and when I returned home at nearly 6pm, there were 2 exhausted looking stock doves in there and a jackdaw. For long periods of time, they all just sat in there…. then every now and then the jackdaw would attack. I watched for an hour or so and recorded a selection of clips…. but then started to get worried. A couple of times the doves seemed to attempt to get out but were unable to do so. They seemed exhausted. I made the decision to open the lower door on the nest box and let them escape if they wanted to.
As I got the ladder to the tree, the jackdaw emerged and flew off. I climbed up and opened the lower door of the nest box. After a little encouragement, one stock dove flew out. The other one remained in there, despite me tapping on the box and trying to get it out. I was worried that it may have been badly injured as there was blood smeared up the inside of the nest box. I left it for a few minutes to see if it would make a bid for freedom, but it just lay in the bottom of the nest box. I decided to take it out and check it over. Carefully balancing on the ladder, tea towel in one hand, holding onto the tree with the other, I reached in and firmly grasped the dove and took it out of the box.
I examined it once I got down the ladder. It had blood on its beak, but seemed quite strong. As I moved it to examine the rest of it, it struggled and escaped out of my hands, flying strongly off across the lane…….
My son had been back in the house on the PC and recorded the rescue and , by the responses on Twitter, quite a few were watching the drama live! There will be a lot moe footage to come over the following days, but I have uploaded a couple of clips and some images. I actually feel that the jackdaw would have killed the doves if I had left them there.
I wonder how many times dramas like this happen and we simply never know about it….