Birds and Birchtrees
Let´s talk about Tits. The birds. The Willow Tit (Poecile Montanus) and the Crested Tit (Lophophanes Cristatus) are small birds living and breeding here in Finland. These birds are some of the tiniest and cutest inhabitants of the forest.
Willow Tit has almost no neck at all and is quite a curious and fearless small birdie, while the Crested Tit is the punk rocker of the forest, very restless and active with a small crest on it’s head.
Special Birds with Special Ways
These birds are very special, not only because they are so cute, but also because of the way they prefer to build their nest.
You see, they are making their nesting holes by themselves!
Can you imagine, with those small beaks they need to first pierce the bark of a tree and then dig into the wood to make a big enough nesting hole for up to 11 eggs!
To be able to do that, they need soft dead wood. When an old birch tree dies, with time, it usually breaks in half, leaving half of it still standing. With time, the part left standing becomes rotten and soft. As you can imagine, for the forest to produce this kind of wood, the trees need to be left in peace for their whole life cycle, which depending on the species and circumstances, might take hundreds of years.
They are in trouble
Unfortunately, in Finland, the Willow Tits and Crested Tits are in trouble. During the past ten years these two species have almost decreased by half and are now listed as endangered.
The biggest reason for this is forestry. Too heavy cutting ends up leaving almost no old trees in the forest. This makes it very hard for them to nest in Finland.
Knowing this, we thought,
let’s help these birdies!
How Can We Help?
To know what to do, we asked some bird experts for advice. We learned that the Willow Tit and the Crested Tit don’t accept typical birdhouses. Because of their specialization in making their own nesting hole, they need something that allows them to continue this habit.
We listened to the experts’ advice, and now we have built our own version of a birdhouse for Willow Tits and Crested Tits. Now this prototype is hanging in the forest and it’s up to the birds to decide if it’s what they need.
The only thing we can do now (except leaving the trees in peace) is to wait and see. Let’s hope for the best and stay tuned for updates next spring!
We made a short video on instagram about the building process, please check it out:
Ps. We also got another advice on how to help:
Every time you find a dead birch trunk laying on the forest floor, lift it up and lean it against another tree for support. To make it stable, you can secure it by tying the two trunks together with some natural rope. Since the birch bark might be very hard, you can cut an opening with your knife to make it easier for the birds to start the process.
Thank you for reading and have an inspiring autumn!