Raising young is a stressful, disorientating time for any parent but one bird appears to have been so confused it was seen attempting to brood the chicks in a nearby nest of a hobby falcon – one of its known predators.
Filmmakers for BBC Two series Autumnwatch recorded a female woodpigeon repeatedly trying to brood hobby hatchlings but being pushed off the nest by the chicks’ parent.
The incredible sequence was filmed using a remote camera set up in a farm in Gloucestershire.
“I suspect the bird just became a bit confused,” said Dave Leech, senior research ecologist at the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).
“It may have lost a brood of its own nearby and, still full of hormones associated with that stage of the nesting cycle, decided to brood the nearest available alternative.”