A TMO – a Tree of Multiple Occupancy

I meant to post this a couple of weeks ago – it’s that time of year when the garden seems to take over my life and this year there’s been quite a lot going on in our garden.

This is an old ash tree in the field behind our house and we’ve called it a Tree of Multiple Occupancy. It’s hollowed out at the top with several holes lower down and the occupants are mainly jackdaws and wood pigeons. This is not a happy household as none of them get on and the jackdaws regularly patrol the tree trying to scare off any birds that come near.

In the early mornings I’ve seen a barn owl going into the top hole, chased by the jackdaws. I’ve seen the owl a few times now – one evening it came sweeping out of the top hole followed by a group of jackdaws. It flew into our little wood and after just a short time it flew back into the tree. I wish I’d had my camera handy that day, it’s an absolutely beautiful bird!

I also wish I had a camera inside the tree to see the arrangements – is the tree hollow all the way down? Do they all have nests? And is the barn owl nesting there too?

The great tits and bluetits have been busy – the great tits made a nest in an old hollow fence post and produced four young ones. David’s video shows the fledglings leaving the nest early one morning. We also have had bluetits nesting in a great tits’ bird box on the gable end of the house. And now the swallows are here, swooping around the sky – such wonderful aerial displays.

7 thoughts on “A TMO – a Tree of Multiple Occupancy

    1. Cath, that would have been fantastic! We were so pleased Springwatch had their camera on a barn owl’s nest and could see what it’s like. We haven’t seen the owl for a few days now.


  1. You’ve got your very own front-row seats to quite a theatre, Margaret! I’m sure it is beautiful to watch, and I think that ash tree is lovely, too. Lucky you to have so many birds nearby.


    1. It’s been really good this year with so many fledglings. Just now we watched a blue tit feeding three babies sitting on the decking railing outside the kitchen window!


  2. There’s a very similar tree near me but I think it is mainly inhabited by grey squirrels, not nearly as exciting as yours. I can hear owls nearby but I’ve never seen any. It’s such a shame that some councils rush to cut down any trees that aren’t in perfect health as they get rid of potential homes for so many species.


    1. I love trees like this! I’ve never seen a barn owl so near to me before – it was exciting as it flew through our garden.It’s a big tree but not likely to cause any damage if it fell and it’s in a farmer’s field away from the public anyway.


  3. Sounds (and looks) lovely, albeit that the jackdaws cause problems for the others! There’s so much character in damaged trees.


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