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Jeremy Torrance web producer Jeremy Torrance web producer | 18:27 UK time, Wednesday, 8 June 2011

We've been asking you lots of questions this year (and thanks for the amazing response). Now it's your chance to ask Chris, Kate and Martin your questions about the species we've been covering this series. So post them below and they'll answer some of the best on tonight's show.

PS Try and keep them short so they can answer as many as possible.

Update: Wow! Thanks for all the questions. Sorry we couldn't get through them all on tonight's show. I'm going to shut this post down for commenting now before we get completely inundated. Keep watching for more answers to your questions and in the meantime, our messageboard folk are very knowledgeable and helpful.


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  • Comment number 1.

    HELPPPPPPPPPP!! We have a male Blackbird (whom we loving call 'PING PING') who sits in our willow tree and calls 'PING PING PING' constantly from 4.30am until dust, without respite!! I love birds but this particular one is driving us in sane and wakes the whole household, since we have all losing 3 - 4 hours sleep every morning for the last month!! It does appear to have a damaged wing which may have been from a cat assult. Does this bird have physiological problems or is this normal??? Please help before we all go stir crazy!!

  • Comment number 2.

    Black Grass snake. I caught one back in the early seventies in the river chess, Watford. Has Chris seen one or know anything more about them ?

  • Comment number 3.

    Help! We have a cattle trough (with plants, pump and water filter) acting as a pond with 6 lovely fish. We now also have a beautiful grass snake with bright yellow collar and lovely markings. S/He was swimming around happily this afternoon, will our fish (and water snails) be safe?

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi everyone, I have been hearing that gulls are declining in the UK, but everywhere i go i see them. so are they declining or are they going as strong as ever, thanks

    P.S wow another great year of birds, animals and you three, keep it up!!

  • Comment number 5.

    We appear to have had a very successful breeding season for a number of birds in our garden, particularly Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, Great Tits, House Sparrows and Blue Tits; however the attrition rate against our windows, especially for the Woodpeckers (and Nuthatch), is alarming. We have silhouettes on the outside of the windows, but we still have this problem. We would be grateful for any advice to help us alleviate this very distressing problem.

    Ian and Gill Hunter
    01593 835795

  • Comment number 6.

    A couple of shearwater questions, would be great if you could answer one of them?

    If the Shearwaters on Skomer mate for life and always return to the same burrow do burrows only become available to new pairs when old pairs have died?

    If one of a pair fails to return to the island will the remaining bird keep the burrow and try and find a new mate or will it be 'kicked out' by a new pair?

    Do new breeders looking for a burrow ever try and 'cheat' their way into a burrow by returning to the island early?

    Is their competition for burrows between the puffins and shearwaters?

  • Comment number 7.

    why are woodpeckers flying in to our house/ windows, 2 have died over the last few days

  • Comment number 8.

    In last nights programme it said about making sure a nest box is away from the feeding area. I'd like to know what's the minimum distance? I've got lots of feeders in my garden and the furthest wall is about 20-30 feet away, is that far enough away to place a nest box?

  • Comment number 9.

    I noticed today in my garden around a dozen goldfinchs taking the flowerheads off my forget me knots and flying away with them. Having never seen this before i was wondering if you could shed some light on this.

  • Comment number 10.

    Why do some fledglings have no tails?

    I've so far seen a just-fledged Blackbird with no tail and a Robin!

  • Comment number 11.

    june observation,NO swallows/swifts or house martins this year,But many more small
    bumble bees,large numbers in fact around my pond & plum tree.Now have over 20 species of Birds in garden.

  • Comment number 12.

    I saw a young tiny grass snake a few weeks ago, has it hatched early?

  • Comment number 13.

    Earlier today I found a male chaffinch in my garden with Trichomonosis, what should I do and is this chaffinch like to survive?


  • Comment number 14.

    please could you ask Chris
    what is your
    top 3 Favorite wildlife moments???

  • Comment number 15.

    Can I download that wonderful dawn chorus you had on Tuesdays show anywhere?

  • Comment number 16.

    How many clutches of eggs does a bluetit lay each year??

  • Comment number 17.

    can you tell me please,how to tell the difference between male and female blue tits
    your's sincerely

  • Comment number 18.

    What is the story about Chris's ribbed cardigan? He's wears it all the time!

  • Comment number 19.

    We had Slow worms with our enclosed compost heap but how do we best attract Grass Snakes into our garden?

  • Comment number 20.

    When is a beak, a bill?

  • Comment number 21.

    You said yesterday that the Cuckoo disappeared and was found in France. Well the local Cuckoo here did exactly the same yesterday (disappeared). Now my question is; do you think that the birds demise is due to the fact that they are being caught while on their migration? Chrissie, Witney

  • Comment number 22.

    Will the Pied Flycatcher mother remove the dead chicks out of the nest like she does with the open eggshells or will she leave the dead chicks in there until the nestlings fledge?

  • Comment number 23.

    what will happen to the dead chicks of the pied flycatchers - will they be removed by the wardens at the end of the season, or provide food for the birds of prey such as out lovely buzzard?


  • Comment number 24.

    HI, just wondered what or who was the teams inspiration to work for nature.
    they have inspired me and lots of others so i was just curious of who insired them.

  • Comment number 25.

    Inspired by your live minicams I bought a birdbox and put a small camera inside. Where is the best place to put it in my garden?

  • Comment number 26.

    Dont you think that those empty cadis fly cases that you showed last night would make wonderful jewellry

  • Comment number 27.

    After a successful breeding season in our garden, particularly for greater spotted woodpecker, nuthatch and various tits we are concerned by the huge attrition rate against our windows. We have silhouettes on the outside of the windows but have had two woodpeckers and a nuthatch killed in the last two days. We would value advice on how to avoid this disturbing situation.
    Ian and Gill Hunter

  • Comment number 28.

    (For everyone) What is your favourite species of bird? (with latin name if possible please)

  • Comment number 29.

    I have tadpoles from a pond about 7 miles away. When they are frogs, Will they stay in my pond or will they make there way back to where they came from :))))

  • Comment number 30.

    Dear Chris/Kate/Martin .Do any species of Dragon fly/Damsel fly sting? .If so how do you recognise the stingers.. Thanks Tony

  • Comment number 31.

    We have a nest of bumble bees living in our cavity wall. Will they cause any damage?

  • Comment number 32.

    How common is it for Heron's to 'nick' ducklings? I saw a Heron this weekend bully 2 adult Moorhen's until they moved from the nest and it nicked a duckling and flew off!

  • Comment number 33.

    Chris has been sharing his memories and exploits of catching and keeping grass snakes in his early years. I have been handling grass snakes for years, normally to show my nephew or anyone who is with me their lovely nature and general gorgeousness, but someone recently told me it is now illegal to even handle a grass snake! I knew it was so for smooth snake, but is it true with the humble grassy? It seems a shame that our natural heritage is becoming more and more look but son't touch. How will we make more Chris Packham's in the future! Please help!

  • Comment number 34.

    hi, plz can you tell how can i set up a webcam to watch the wildlife in my own garden.x

  • Comment number 35.

    Hi, Please could you tell me where do ermine moth caterpillars go to pupate? I watch in amazement, over weeks as they ate the complete hedge they were born and lived in then they all disappeared. Where did they all creep off to, they can of gone far!!!

  • Comment number 36.

    Why are my goldfish chasing each other in my pond. Goldfish and shabunkins

  • Comment number 37.

    can you tell me please,how to tell the difference between male and female blue tits
    thanks because I have a or they have been coming every 5 minutes?
    your's sincerely

  • Comment number 38.

    hi team
    we saw the part about the hedgehogs last week and were shocked by the statistics. we cant cut holes in the hedges, coz we have free range pet rabbits. we'd like to help, though, so is there anything else we can do?

  • Comment number 39.

    is it common to see a grey squirrel which is mostly Black!

  • Comment number 40.

    This year I have monitored Pied Flycatcher nests a few miles from Ynyshir.
    In over 50% of nests that have hatched/fledged there were one or more unhatched eggs left in each nest.
    Is this usual? Could it be related to Pied Flycatcher polygamy?

  • Comment number 41.

    How long can Barn Owls live for?

  • Comment number 42.

    Are goldfinches the only birds to eat niger seeds? Please give an answer ...


  • Comment number 43.

    I saw a sparrow hawk struggling to kill a starling in my garden. It hopped across the lawn and jumped into the pond. It appeared to be trying to drown it! Is this normal behaviour for a sparrow hawk?

  • Comment number 44.

    Should i clear out my nest box each year from the previous years blue tits or should i leave the nest in the box..

  • Comment number 45.

    I have 3 cats (and 3 dogs) how can I feed/help birds in my garden without inviting them to an early demise?

  • Comment number 46.

    Hi can you help me solve a problem???
    I have a fairly large garden (approx 150 ft long ) Plenty of trees.
    I have two brd tables plus hanging feeders, bird bath and three nesting boxes.
    I don't seem to get many small birds feeding ???
    I do have a number of pigeons and magpies helping themselves.
    Are these keeping the small birds away from my garden and why?
    how can I remedy this problem.
    Thanks Bernie

  • Comment number 47.

    We have been dying to know if there are orchids in flower on the site. Why is there so little on the amazing spring plantlife. ? Susie O

  • Comment number 48.

    How do you tell the difference between a rook and a carrion crow?? especially in flight xx

    Thank You

  • Comment number 49.

    Had recurrent foxes and badgers for years everynight without fail. All of a sudden they've all stop coming any ideas why?

  • Comment number 50.

    Why did the female pied flycatcher go out of the nest at 12 a.m?

  • Comment number 51.

    Do birds sense when their chicks are dead and do they just leave when they realize ps: you are all awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 52.

    Why haven't you ever mentioned the Eagle Owls in the Trough of Bowland? Is this politically wrong because they may predate on the population of Hen Harriers in that region and are therefore a thorn in the side of the RSPB?

  • Comment number 53.

    Hi Team
    we have had families of foxes come into our gardens for some years, but this year the regular visitors have disappeared. Can you please advise how long foxes live and how to tell male from female from a distance!
    many thanks

  • Comment number 54.

    This year I have noticed a lot of grey coloured furry bees in my garden,they don't appear to be grey due to age.What are they?

  • Comment number 55.

    Why, during a recent thunderstorm did my frogs leave the pond and disappear to various parts of the garden?

  • Comment number 56.

    what can i do about the cats around my area that kill all the birds, i hate seeing them laying on the floor every morning this cant be good?

  • Comment number 57.

    The Cuckoo puts its eggs in other birds nests, do it choose the same birds nest each year, or does it visit various nests; laying different eggs in different nests,instead of just 1.???

  • Comment number 58.

    Hello Chris, Martin and Kate - will the Pied Flycatcher remove the dead chicks or will she and her mate leave the nest entirely?

  • Comment number 59.

    its a weasel

  • Comment number 60.

    Hi guy's, Has Martin had laser eye surgery as he does'nt keep moving his glasses from his head to his face ?????

  • Comment number 61.

    im starting a wildlife photograhy course soon and wondered if you had any tips for getting the best pictures of wildbirds

  • Comment number 62.

    Does Chris think the Male Pied Flycatcher was, as is normal for this species, also provisioning another Female Ped Fly at another nest and this was the reason he had gone missing earlier on? Presumably this behaviour may have contributed to the demise of the featured chicks? Pied Flycatcher are also known as the 'Bigamy bird' so this must also possibly happen at other nests?

  • Comment number 63.

    wot more can i do 2 help the wildlife i am a member of the rspb i have feeds and nets boxs out but i want 2 do more but dont know how plz help

    p.s. i love the show :-)

  • Comment number 64.

    i was driving to brecon in south wales last week and saw several colonies of tent making caterpillers. they were all very large a meter or so. some of the colonies had complely stripped the hedgerow for long stretches and all that was left was twigs and silk. are these native to the uk (i have seen very much smaller colonies on hawthorne) that have had a boom year or are they an invasive species?

  • Comment number 65.

    We have pheasants visiting our gardens regularly but there have been less lately does this mean they are bussy having chicks if? If so where do they nest?

  • Comment number 66.

    Inspired by your live minicams I bought a smallspy camera and put it in a bird box. I want to have blue tits breeding in it. Where is the best place to put it in my garden?

  • Comment number 67.

    I have found a creature in my garden new to me I have lived here for 10 years and never seen it before want to know if it is dangerous to my garden and what it is? I am going to load it on to the picture site please help as I have many of them. Will name picture nattie 2011

  • Comment number 68.

    Hi springwatch,
    i was just wondering if red kites being scavengers only feast on road kill alone, what i would like to know is if they actually hunt for themselves, a answer would be greatly apreciated. look forward to hearing from you!

  • Comment number 69.

    Hi all at Springwatch. In April I found what looked like a nest (some kind of bee maybe). It was squashed in between two bricks where the mortar was missing. I have posted a picture on flickr called nest.jpg. Do you know what made this please? Thanks. Love the programme.

  • Comment number 70.

    Hi, could you tell me which birds featured on the show at Ynys-hir Nature Reserve will migrate at the end of the summer after breeding and which will stay and survive the Welsh winter?
    Thanks, Kath Sanderson

  • Comment number 71.

    Please can Chris tell us about the Poly-thingy (the thing he said he was going to tell us about)!!

  • Comment number 72.

    Do you have information, or, better still, a photograph, of a puffin's bill outside the colourful breeding season?

    Terry in Suffolk

  • Comment number 73.

    PLEASE HELP HELP HELP!!! We moved into our new house 6 months ago. We did not cut down any trees or woodland and were very careful not to disturb any habitats. Last week there was a duck with 15 ducklings in the garden, yesterday a herron and every day since Sunday lots and lots of wood pigeons. Before we built the house there was a man made wetland from soil gathering up. Now thats its gone did the ducks and herrons come back to find water??? We live about 1 mile from the nearest lake? we are surrounded by Countryside and even have red squirrels however should I be building a wetland in the garden for all of these animals?

  • Comment number 74.

    I love Bees but ......I would like to know if you can get rid of bee's humainly, i have some bees nesting in my loft, they are small bumble bees, the white bottomed type. I need to find a way of moving them so I can mend my leaky roof and celing.

  • Comment number 75.

    i have a question for you guys

    what makes a good sparrowhawk nest site?

    i had a family of them in our garden and i want to know what made them choose our garden.

    thank you!

    Sarah (from Kate's wannabee)

  • Comment number 76.

    Please can the team tell me, are fat balls safe for fledglings to eat, our baby bluetits and finches love them. Thank you.

  • Comment number 77.

    I work in a garden center and we have a pair of robins which nest in one of the greenhouses. They have definitely had two broods this year but I think its possibly been three! Is this possible?

  • Comment number 78.

    We have wrens nesting in a nest box in the garden with 7 babies. WHen they leave the nest do we remove the old next from the box.

  • Comment number 79.

    When is the best time of year to see puffins?

  • Comment number 80.

    Please, please can the Springwatch team help us. We are a small primary school in Holybourne, Alton, Hampshire and we wanted to dissect owl pellets as an activity during science week commencing 27th June. We were told that people could supply the pellets but when we have asked for them now we are told we can only have a few and have so far only managed to get 40 for about 200 children to work with. Does anyone know of anywhere/one that might be able to supply some sterilised pellets so that our children can work in small groups and observe and learn so much more. Thanks you for your time.

    Lesley Hill, Year One teacher
    Andrews' Endowed School

  • Comment number 81.

    we had a nestbox with a blue tit and its chicks and they have now fledged leaving 4 dead chicks behind. what should we do with the nestbox? should we clean it out? eve .

  • Comment number 82.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 83.

    what does the beavers eat in scotland

  • Comment number 84.

    I have a question with regard to the Pied Flycatcher. After seeing yesterdays events and the show tonight, what part does the nest box play in the heat levels in nest ?

    Now the reason I ask is this, if the Pied Flycatcher family nested within an old woodpecker hole, the nest woudl have had more protection from the elements, as opposed to the nest box which is exposed on basically all sides (except the one attached to the tree). So heat escapes from the top and the side and bottom surfaces will be cooled by the wind.

    So again, what part did the nest box play in the demise of the family ?

  • Comment number 85.

    In my Garden i had a little bit of rain water and within it i could see tadpoles like creatures swimming around, as they are not tadpoles i wondered if they could be mosquito lavae??? Many Thankx

  • Comment number 86.

    Couple of questions:

    1. Why did no one intervene when the pied flycatcher chicks were in trouble??
    2. I had (for the first time ever) Great Tits nesting in a bird box in my garden, we happened to be in the day they fledged, one fledgling sadly died, and three must have gone off with the parents. When I looked in the nest box there was a dead chick, not long dead. I removed the dead chick but should I remove the nest materiel or leave it?

  • Comment number 87.

    Hey guys. I would like to know why birds don't ckoke when swallowing such big prey? Watching BOB swallow that male filed mouse I was astounded by the fact that he didn't choke!

    Love the show Victoria x

  • Comment number 88.

    With regard to the flycatchers. Would the parents normally remove the deceased chicks from the nest? Surely the dead chicks would only have an effect on the temperature within the nest?

  • Comment number 89.

    We have a camera in a bird box and at the beginning of May had a blue tit nest and lay 7 eggs. They all hatched but within a week had all died.We cleared the box out and now this week we have a blue tit coming into the box at night to sleep. It is not making a nest, just sleeping at night. Could this be the same bird and is it normal for a bird to use a box like this

  • Comment number 90.

    Have recently listened to David Attenborough's life stories podcast on Cuckoos. He explains how a female Cuckoo gets its egg into a tiny nest entrance with its "muscular and extendable cloaca" while clinging to the nests rim of its host species - such as Reed Warbler, Meadow Pipits or Dunnocks.
    Has it ever been known for a cuckoo to get its egg into a nest box with this method?

  • Comment number 91.

    My dad followed a barn owl across the Severn bridge yesterday. It was following the road directly. Do barn owls use roads to navigate like pigeons do?
    Fran (aged 16)

  • Comment number 92.

    In last night's show there was an item about bird feeders being close to nest boxes.I have feeders near a camera nestbox in my garden in which Blue Tits nested. 10 eggs were laid,all hatched and 10 chicks successfully fledged despite the feeders being frequented by many other birds of many species. I believe that part of this success was down to me providing a constant supply of live mealworms. Would you agree that providing live mealworms is an acceptable practice or are you totally against "artificial" sources of live food for breeding garden birds?
    Iain Stuart

  • Comment number 93.

    Is there a reason for the shape & colour of a puffins's beak?

  • Comment number 94.

    I am living in the Netherlands(i am british from Yorkshire) and enjoying your show very much!
    I live in a beautiful part of Holland, Havelte.
    With lots of nature, and animals...
    Perhaps you could give some information about the dreaded "Tick"....
    It is called a "Teek" here.
    I know its not a really nice subject, but would appreciate some info...

    I love the show...thanks super.


  • Comment number 95.

    Why are our tadpoles starting to die off? - they spawned in a tin bath (last year the fish had the lot, so moved them for safety) have been happy for weeks, even have a pebble beach and get fed fish food - 2 days ago we noticed many had gone grey and were on the bottom, getting eaten by the rest ?!?!?!? Advice appreciated ?! Thanks Tony and Sarah

  • Comment number 96.

    Is there homosexuality, i.e. same sex pairings, in the animal kingdom?

  • Comment number 97.

    Last night there was a question about trre bees. I am a beekeeper but had not come across the species before. In April I noticed a 'bumble' bee going in and out of one of our nest boxes on the garage facing our dining room. It is now quite clear that they are tree bees. I have taken a few pictures but don't know how to post them.

  • Comment number 98.

    I have been fascinated by the film of the grass snakes this week. Today I have been looking in the donkeys' dung heap for any sign of snake activity, as in previous years I have found empty egg cases after hatching. I did not see any snakes, but did find a perfect, empty skin, hanging down from about 3 feet up the heap. Do snakes usually shed their skin at the same time as laying their eggs, please?

    Thanks and regards


  • Comment number 99.

    Barn Owl Question

    We have been observing a barn owl that appears to be hunting during daylight hours (7-9.30 am). Typically it flies back and forth across the fields and then rests on one of two fence posts for up to an hour before finally disappearing. Is this normal behaviour? if not is there anything we can do to help ? Thanks, Lee Wilson near Bath.

  • Comment number 100.

    I have a bees nest under a shed I do not want to kill them but I need to move it,what should I do.


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