A wildlife lover who installed a camera in a bird box to film a family of blue tits was stunned when the videos attracted 41 million views in a month.
John Chadwick, 43, has started live streaming footage of the birds with their chicks so his family can watch their development before they take flight.
But just weeks after uploading the videos to YouTube, it had millions of views worldwide.
“It got a little crazy. I just wanted to show my neighbors, my friends, my nieces and my nephews what the birds were doing. I had no idea the films would generate such interest,” John said.
The sound engineer, who toured with Aerosmith and Ringo Starr of The Beatles, bought the birdhouse on a whim during lockdown.
He set it up on a willow tree in the back garden of his home in Leicester in March, and within hours two blue tits moved in and had five chicks.
“I started livestreaming and making a highlight video every day – the first day 100 people watched it.
He showed things like the chicks being fed in the nests while the parents brought caterpillars.
«I kept doing great things every day, about three days before the chicks flew I hit 100 followers.
“I decided to make a final video, as short as possible, showing the birds entering the nests, the eggs hatching and the chicks taking flight.
I uploaded it on June 7 and by Thursday it had been viewed by 100,000 people, and by Saturday it had been viewed five million times.”
And despite the films’ huge worldwide success, John is unlikely to earn enough to build a nest egg.
Some say they find it quite relaxing and others are genuinely fascinated. »