30th May 2015

Green Oak Tortrix caterpillars have a risky life, wherever there are Blue or Great Tit nests. Here’s a Blue Tit pair busy feeding maturing babies in a bird box in Sussex, today. Dozens of times every hour these adults are finding Oak Tortrix caterpillars from a nearby Oak and feeding this favourite food to their young It’s what gives the young their very yellow chests when they first emerge. This is not the only risk the caterpillars face- the eggs are laid with the hope that the caterpillars emerge exactly when the IMG_9240

As the young are quite mature, they are also being fed fat from a nearby feeder, and other invertebrates.

As the young are quite mature, they are also being fed fat from a nearby feeder, and other invertebrates.

IMG_9267young oak leaves are growing. Too soon, and they will starve for lack of food. Too late and they will not be able to digest the tannin in the older Oak leaves. Just in time and they are fodder for many birds. In an attempt to avoid this, the caterpillars roll themselves inside the new leaves and bind them with a sticky fluid. These were still found! Conditions- Following yesterdays torrential showers, much cloud with some sunny intervals. Temperature: Max 13- Min 9c.

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