Your wildlife queries

Sunday 19 January 2014, 17:25

 Nick Baker Nick Baker Naturalist and presenter

On Winterwatch Unsprung I want to answer all of your wildlife questions.

From unrecognisable sounds to unidentified objects or strange animal behaviours, send me your questions on Twitter, Facebook or using the 'Comments' button below, then tune in to Winterwatch Unsprung to find out the answers.

Winterwatch Unprung is on web and Red Button at 9pm on Monday, 9.30pm on Tuesday and 10pm on Thursday. On Wednesday Unsprung is at 9.30pm on BBC Two.

Vapourer Moth Eggs by Joanna Clegg Vapourer moth eggs by Joanna Clegg

 

 

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    Comment number 1.

    Coming home from work on late shift last week at 15 minutes past midnight I was suprised to hear a bird singing after putting the car in the garage. Is this normal for birds to be singing at this time as it sounded like at bird singing at dawn?

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    Comment number 2.

    We live in Oxfordshire where there are now many Red Kite. Can you confirm whether they will take live small animals, for example new lambs or small dogs, as it is rumoured locally?

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    Comment number 3.

    is there any wolves and owls on your side of scotland. Rayb

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    Comment number 4.

    Question for Unsprung:
    I'm a science teacher, and I always like to keep a tank in the lab with pondweed for experiments. I have recently noticed that the pondweed is not alone, and there is what I believe to be, a newt larva living in there, which must have hatched from an egg on the pondweed. The larva has a tadpole-like tail with bold eyes, feathery external gills and limbs (I have pictures). My question is: if there is no food (other than the pondweed and algae), and no way of the newt getting out of the tank onto a dry surface, will it go through metamorphosis and develop lungs? Or remain as a juvenile learvae? Thanks, Rosie Lewney.

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    Comment number 5.

    @RosieLewney is there is no food, the young newt will not survive. You can buy Daphnia or Brine Shrimp as food... plenty of newt-raising advice can be found here: caudata.org/cc/articles/raising

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    Comment number 6.

    @Ray the bird singing at midnight will most likely be a blackbird. I'm often up late through the night and hear them singing at all hours.

    @Penny L ...a Red Kite is almost certainly not big enough to be able to take a lamb or a dog, even a live adult rabbit would be quite a struggle.
    Birds such as Kites and Buzzards are far more likely to feed on smaller mammals such as rodents or scavenge on animals that are already dead. You can often see them in fields feeding on earthworms.

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    Comment number 7.

    can you tell, or maybe show, where birds such as the robin,bluetits and wrens etc. shelter on cold winter nghts. Do they always shelter in the same places? Do any of the small birds share communal spaces? Thanks, Mike and Carole.

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    Comment number 8.

    I have just erected a bird box with a camera and the past two nights a Bluetit has settled down in the box at 4.30pm , put his head under his chest and gone to sleep. We have checked him just before we go to bed at 11pm and he is still fast asleep. Is this a common practice for Bluetits?
    ps the bird box is as erected -no nesting material present.
    Regards John Wilks

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    Comment number 9.

    I have several butterflies hibernating in my garage but it is due to be demolished in April to make way for an extension. Will the butterflies have flown by the beginning of April? If not, I have a bug box on the side of my shed. Can I safely move the butterflies into it?

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    Comment number 10.

    my parents have had what looks like one of the raptor family visiting their garden. Similar size as the sparrow Hawk but it's plumage is black. Any ideas??

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    Comment number 11.

    my father has also told me to look out for the fox, this I did and found around 4 foxes moving around the village- Seaton Carew, Hartlepool. Is this normal for this time of year?

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    Comment number 12.

    Michaela mentioned centipedes with upto 300 legs in her report tonight. I heard centipdes have an odd number of pairs of legs ie 298 or 302 but not 300. Is this true?

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    Comment number 13.

    I have noticed every morning about 8:30 a bird comes into my garden it looks like a wagtail, but it has a yellow breast and face, my garden is all stone but my dog digs holes in the stone, This bird walks around one particular hole for about half hour, but does not go in the hole. could you tell me what bird this is and what is it doing?

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    Comment number 14.

    Mike Russell - W. Sussex
    During all this wet weather we've had, and seeing Pulborough Brooks completely flooded yet again, how do the likes of moles and other burrowing animals cope, when their homes are flooded. Do they survive these conditions? Have a son living in Tomatin so the Cairngorms is a great place of interest. Thanks team for a super program.

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    Comment number 15.

    I found a large fat green caterpiller on one of my hebe plants yesterday. We had quite a severe frost last night so I checked it today and found it alive, just! What might it be ? I, ve got it indoors with some of the plant, should I put back out?. Love the programme.

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    Comment number 16.

    How do hibernating insects (like the two ladybirds I found nestling in a crack in a fence-post) survive the winter? Is the warmth they maintain by taking shelter in logs etc enough to keep them from freezing? Or do they have some sort of anti-freeze in their bodies? Any other explanation? I have seen insects apparently freezing over and then thawing and "waking up" on wildlife documentaries before. What proportion of arthropods simply die off leaving their eggs to take over the life cycle? And how do other land-dwelling invertebrates like slugs and snails keep from freezing? Thanks! Jenny

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    Comment number 17.

    I've got some kind of dark grey shield bug like insect (same distinctive shape), and around 1 cm in length, living indoors in my flat at present (not a forest bug I don't think). This is in suburban south London. I'm puzzled as to what it is (I have a couple of photos). I assume it has survived till January because it has been so mild and also because it has found its way indoors (no idea what it is feeding on). Has anyone else seen something similar indoors recently? I don't recall seeing this kind of insect in winter before though I assume such sightings are not unprecedented.

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    Comment number 18.

    Good Morning.
    I watched Unsprung last night, We kept a tame male Tawny Owl for over fifteen years. He made both noises you mentioned on your show. Unfortunately he passed away in August so I can't send any clips of him doing this.

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    Comment number 19.

    how long does a grey squirrel live for

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    Comment number 20.

    Hi, on Saturday 18th January, I was walking around the QE2 lake in Ashington, Northumberland and saw what seems to have been, a glossy Ibis. Another couple saw it and we watched it for a little while. Could this be possible as my research states that they should be in Spain? We thought it was a Curlew at first but was green/black colour and bigger than a curlew.
    I have a very poor picture from my mobile phone

 

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