Big Feather

  • 4 June 2021 4:55 pm


Big Feather

Drama queens and extroverts pushed aside for wild housemates

As millions of fans gear up to watch the launch of Big Brother 2009 tonight, the nation’s obsession with spying on feathered housemates has also become apparent.

New figures show that almost a quarter of a million people looked at ‘nest-cams’ on the RSPB’s website during May alone, highlighting the UK’s passion for birds and other wildlife.

RSPB member Dianne Rogers says: “I always have a little look online at the nest cams when I get in from work, I suppose you could say I’m hooked! Sometimes the birds are doing absolutely nothing and minding their own business but sometimes you see them landing back home or feeding.

“At this time of year its particularly exciting to keep an eye on the birds online as with breeding season well underway you never know what you’re going to see. I’m still hopeful that I’ll tune in and see a chick leaving the nest for the first time!”

Over 100,000 people kept an eye on a pair of ospreys on the RSPB’s Loch Garten nature reserve in Scotland last month alone. The birds were featured on last year’s Springwatch and again last night and viewers were desperate to find out if they successfully bred again this year.

Close-up, nest-side seats give visitors incredible views of the birds incubating their eggs and feeding their chicks and the couple are still busy at the top of the tree on the RSPB reserve.

The RSPB has high quality cameras on many nests, nest boxes and feeders around the country, for monitoring purposes, research and enjoyment.

Birds under surveillance include the ospreys, peregrine falcons, goshawks, choughs, and garden birds to name but a few, and wildlife lovers visit in their droves to see their latest exploits.

RSPB Web-Manager Andy Westley says: “The nest cams are always popular and visitor numbers just keep growing. It seems that as soon as a nest-cam goes up people really take the birds to heart and need to know how they are doing.

“Every year we get people asking when certain birds will appear online again and its very clear that as a nation we just love watching birds, be it in the garden or online. Interestingly, more people watch at work than during the evenings and weekend!

“We know that people from troops in Iraq to bird lovers stuck in the office watch the camera footage online and we’re delighted that we can bring so many people closer to nature this way.”

Footage from a variety of nests, nestboxes and feeders can be viewed at