Film ID: YFA 5728 Video of YFA_5728 Magic Box 1965 MAGIC BOX 1965 Visitor TabsDescription This is a film made by Doug and Norah Brear, of Wakefield Cine Club. It features the couple making a bird box and observing the behaviour of the blue tits that nest in it. The film is narrated by their young daughter. Title – Chaseley Films present Title – The Magic Box The father of the family is in the garden, with the pet rabbit, sawing wood to make a wooden box. The box turns out to be a bird box. The mother looks on from the kitchen window. He attaches the bird box to a tree, facing away from the sun. A pair of blue tits takes occupancy of the box, and looking inside we see that 8 babies have been hatched. With father seated on a deckchair watching, the girl explains that they need to stay still for at least two hours before the birds will feel safe enough to use the box in their presence. They periodically examine the box, as the commentary explains their behaviour in constantly feeding the babies. After 11 days the fledglings venture out and are, as far as they can tell, never seen again. Title – The End Context A young girl takes on the Desmond Morris (or perhaps Johnny Morris) role for this enchanting film of a family birdwatching in their back garden. In the mid-sixties, before the days of Springwatch, an enterprising Wakefield family, the Brears, have set up their own birdwatch, making a bird box and filming the baby blue tits inside that have made it their home. With great patience they sit and observe the behaviour of one of Britain’s favourite garden birds. Norma and Doug Brear FACI are members of the Wakefield Cine Club. They have made many films since they started filming in 1960, putting on film shows in both Wakefield and Bradford. The film was possibly inspired by the Granada TV series Zoo Time, or its rival, the popular BBC children's series Animal Magic, with Johnny Morris. Interestingly, the first known bird watcher using a telescope was a man from Wakefield, Charles Waterton, who created his wildlife Walton Hall Estate in the 1820s, and also created the first manmade nest boxes put up simply for encouraging local birds and observing them raise their young. Nest boxes now play an essential role for helping to repopulate areas with declining species.