How to help a single parent (blackcap)?

  • In reply to cigaline:

    Nice to hear about the Blackcaps in your garden Cigaline.       All juveniles (before they gain their adult feathers) will resemble the female of the species, a bit like Bullfinches.     This is a newly fledged Blackcap I came across at the beginning of August,  a few years ago (on a Derbyshire Walk)  …..  as you can see it has a brown cap to the head and resembles the female Blackcap (it could have been male or female).  

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to Dave - CH:

    Thanks Dave - our elder tree is indeed like a thick bush, covered in old man's beard, and they do seem to like spending lots of time in there.

    Alas I no longer have a good camera since my digital SLR packed it in a little while ago so I can't get any good pictures of them, but looking at them through the binoculars is very exciting!
  • In reply to HAZY:

    Wow those pictures are fabulous Hazel! Thanks for explaining what the juveniles look like. I suppose I was using the term juvenile without being sure of how long they considered as such... Of the three birds we saw, 2 had distinct black caps, and the other had a brown cap. So they definitely had adult feathers but I thought that they still seemed smaller than the adult I had seen (not by much though). And the fact that there were two males together made me think they must be part of a new brood.
  • Morning cigaline,    I've been reading up more about the juvenile Blackcap and seems you may be able to distinguish the sexes on juveniles although I don't know if this is possible immediately after fledging the nest or maybe a week or so later.   This is what I read   "Juveniles are similar to the adult female, except the juvenile males have black-brown cap and the juvenile female a yellow-brown cap".   I'm now looking back at my photos and thinking is this perhaps a male as it looks more black-brown on the cap … then again I'd need the help from an expert !!     

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Blackcaps love elder berries. I make sure I have a couple of large sections of elder. Scruffy, but always good for getting warblers in the garden. Re your individuals, I don't think associating blackcaps in a garden can be directly linked to nests. We have brief blackcap song every year in the garden here, but don't believe we've ever had a nest. We get dozens of birds through the garden every year though. They also like the mahonia berries.....