It may be tiny, but Britain's smallest bird, the Goldcrest, is no bird brain!
In the spring of last year, whilst trimming a topiarised golden cypress and tottering on the top of my stepladder, straining to reach the last "ball", a small bird flew out at top speed within inches of my face. Well I nearly fell backwards with shock, as it was obvious I'd disturbed its nest, and it was a goldcrest, it had to be, it was so small.
After recovering my composure, a quick delve into the thicket of branches revealed a tiny nest, complete with seven equally tiny eggs. So I did the decent thing and retreated in haste and resolved to leave it undisturbed. Several months later, the nest was empty and my conscience was salved! The birds did not reappear this year so I've taken the nest down for my grandson's nature table. Here it is, completely flattened now, but it was ball shaped originally.
It's made of tiny twigs, lichen, moss and weeny feathers and bound together with cobwebs.
But the reason for the goldcrest's intelligence? Not that it had the sense not to come back to my tree, not that it can construct a beautiful nest in miniature, but the tree is called - Cuppressus macrocarpa "Goldcrest"!!