Eden Camp blue tits return to nest in gun port of World War Two Spitfire exhibit

A pair of blue tits which nested in the gun port of a Spitfire at military museum Eden Camp last spring have returned to the unusual home this year.

The gun port is just 20mm wide

In May 2020 it was thought that the birds had chosen the nesting site in part because of the lack of visitors during the first lockdown, when the museum near Malton was quiet.

Yet a pair, thought to be the same birds, have returned despite the attraction re-opening.

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The blue tits are raising their young inside the 20mm cannon of the decommissioned World War Two fighter aircraft.

An adult blue tit returns to the nest with food

Yorkshire Post photographer Bruce Rollinson captured the adults on camera as they brought food to their brood.

The Spitfire is a static display aircraft and one of several restored heritage vehicles owned by the museum.

Eden Camp originally consisted of 33 accommodation and mess huts for prisoners of war, mostly Italians and some Germans. Polish servicemen were also based at the camp for a time. and many of the POWS were sent to local farms to provide labour.

After the war, the site became accommodation for farm workers, and later passed into agricultural use. In the 1980s, there were plans to turn it into a crisp factory before a group of former Italian inmates contacted the landowner to ask if they could visit. It was eventually decided to convert the remaining huts into a museum about World War Two, which opened in 1987.

The Spitfire at Eden Camp