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Additional Information

Grey Mare's Tail

As the chicks were very small and hidden with the deep nest cup it was impossible to see how many there were, nonetheless, some very interesting behaviour was recorded. The following observations were made during the days filming; 6am to 9pm.

The female spent 89% of her day (13 hours 19 minutes) at the nest, primarily brooding, but also feeding the young, cleaning the nest, and tending to the nest lining. She left the nest on 26 occasions and was away for a total of 1 hour and 41 minutes. Her longest periods away were 23 minutes and 12 minutes. On both occasions the male tended the nest in her absence. The male visited the nest 29 times to feed the female and young.

He also cleaned the nest, and sometimes after a feeding visit he rested nearby for short periods while the female continued brooding. The male brooded the young on 3 separate occasions for 12 minutes, 5 minutes and 1 minute, although in reality he stood/squatted over the chicks rather than actually brooding them.

Both parents were away from the nest 28 times, which amounted to 63 minutes of the day. Three-quarters of absences did not exceed 2 minutes, but a few lasted up to a maximum of 8 minutes. All footage was filmed and edited by the Grey Mare’s Tail Ranger Service.

Donate today: text TAIL50 and your gift amount to 70070. You can give £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 and £10; e.g. ‘TAIL50 £5’ to 70070. All donations go towards the Trust’s work at Grey Mare’s Tail Nature Reserve.

Opening times

  • Nature Reserve: all year daily


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