Comments by Margus Ots, Great Tit Year coordinator
Video recorded by Olle Koert, www.tt.ee
On Tuesday we could observe in the nest box camera (nest box 3) how a wryneck plundered the great tit nest. The video shows the wryneck throwing 10 eggs out of the nest and also part of the nest material
Wryneck Väänkael Jynx torquilla
The wryneck is a Piciformes or woodpecker family related species whose main food is ants and their pupae. It builds its nest in tree hollows but often also in nest boxes. While looking for a suitable nest site it ravages the nests of other birds nesting in tree hollows, throwing out the nest material and eggs as well as chicks in order to settle down to nest there itself. A wryneck does not build a nest, it lays 7-10 white eggs straight into the tree hollow or on the bottom of a nest box. The wryneck is our only long-distance migrant among the Piciformes birds – it spends the winter in tropical Africa beyond Sahara, arriving in Estonia in the second half of April and leaving in September.
What happens with the plundered great tit nest? Although the great tit has come to spend the night there it can be assumed that it abandons this nest and tries to nest again somewhere else. In the next few dys we will see if the wryneck who carried out the looting, or someone else will nest there, or if the nest box will be left empty for some time.
The Wednesday morning image from the nest box was captured by Felis silvestris, LK forum