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Old Wednesday 1st February 2006, 09:04   #1
Andrew Clarkson
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When Do Blue Tits Start Nesting Process?

All,

Last year, after being inspired by a website that showed nesting Blue Tits online, we decided to put up a box, which was successful, and we ended up with a pair who nested.

This year, the box still remains empty, however, it does get daily inspections from Blue Tits, but we don't know if it's the same ones as last year.

Now we're in February (yikes!), are we getting too far into the year to hope for some residents?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Wednesday 1st February 2006, 11:55   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Clarkson
All,

Last year, after being inspired by a website that showed nesting Blue Tits online, we decided to put up a box, which was successful, and we ended up with a pair who nested.

This year, the box still remains empty, however, it does get daily inspections from Blue Tits, but we don't know if it's the same ones as last year.

Now we're in February (yikes!), are we getting too far into the year to hope for some residents?

Thanks in advance!
Hi Andrew

panic ye not. I don't think they starting building until March sometime.
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Old Wednesday 1st February 2006, 12:03   #3
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Would second Pete's comments ...still very early in the season, so wouldn't start worrying just yet.

If you've got camera in it, take a look at night ...you might find it is being used as a roost at the moment
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Old Wednesday 1st February 2006, 12:24   #4
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A few years ago we put a box up in the 1st week of April and they moved in next day. I thinnk they normally start sorting things out about March.

Don't forget to try and put some bits and pieces out to help them pack the nest with ie moss, dog hair, you can also get nesting material from some bird food suppliers. We got some and I hung it up in its container but pulled manageable size bits in bushes ...the BTs found it and managed to get the base of our nest box covered in double quick time and all the liitle ones survived as well
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Old Thursday 2nd February 2006, 07:57   #5
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Andrew

Second of February and you say it has been getting regular inspections.

That sounds like it'll be used when they're ready. It's been cold for the past couple of weeks. In weather like this they'll tend to keep an eye on the territory, and start building when it warms up a few degrees.
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Old Thursday 2nd February 2006, 08:10   #6
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Forgot to mention that one of them may be even using it for night roosting.

For over a year now we have had a Great Tit using our box for night roosting...even in the Summer months he uses it. Unfortunatley he was also there to see off any pairs of BTs that had taken a shine to it. One evening last year him and a perspective BT flew in at the same time, we saw a fight take place via the camera we have in it...the BT left minus a few feathers.
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Old Monday 6th February 2006, 18:25   #7
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Just had a quick check on my web site history page http://uk.geocities.com/brett.oliver...om/history.htm and the Blue Tits in my garden started nest building on the following dates.

2003 12 March nest abandened due to Bumble Bee invasion. Nest rebuilt in a new location on 29 March

2004 03 March

2005 23 March

I think it depands on the weather/live food availability.

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Old Monday 6th February 2006, 19:17   #8
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Plenty time yet Andrew, late march-early April-may, should see nest building starting.
Good luck.
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Old Monday 13th February 2006, 19:15   #9
Seamoor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Clarkson
All,

Last year, after being inspired by a website that showed nesting Blue Tits online, we decided to put up a box, which was successful, and we ended up with a pair who nested.

This year, the box still remains empty, however, it does get daily inspections from Blue Tits, but we don't know if it's the same ones as last year.

Now we're in February (yikes!), are we getting too far into the year to hope for some residents?

Thanks in advance!
Our box is used all, winter by a lone blue tit, year before last they nested in the box, but after it was overwintered with a lone blue tit and the female seemed to show interest, they did not nest there last year. So hopefully they will again this year. Still it is giving at least one bird somewhere safe for the winter.

Last edited by Seamoor : Monday 13th February 2006 at 19:17. Reason: adding to it
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Old Monday 20th February 2006, 18:41   #10
Mary Evelyn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Clarkson
All,

Last year, after being inspired by a website that showed nesting Blue Tits online, we decided to put up a box, which was successful, and we ended up with a pair who nested.

This year, the box still remains empty, however, it does get daily inspections from Blue Tits, but we don't know if it's the same ones as last year.

Now we're in February (yikes!), are we getting too far into the year to hope for some residents?

Thanks in advance!
Hi Andrew,They like to check out a few locations before they make a decision anyway.Here's hoping and as Jos and Marmot said ,it could be used for roosting.Many birds, including wrens will use a good bird box overnight.Good luck
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Old Tuesday 21st February 2006, 11:30   #11
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They start inspecting holes in mid february, and will start building in late March (depending on where you are and what the spring is like). Earlier in the south, later in the north. They time breeding to coincide with the emergence of moth caterpillars in May.

I ring blue tit broods at 11-15 days old, and last year the first brood was ringed on 20th May and the last on 6th June. The year before it was 21st May and 8th June. That would put first egg laying at around 2nd week of April for the first birds. Nest-building, in a nestbox, will start in earnest 1-2 weeks before that. So, that's about the end of March for the first birds in Cambs.
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Old Tuesday 14th March 2006, 08:46   #12
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Well, what do I know - one bird nest-building in a box this morning!
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Old Tuesday 14th March 2006, 10:38   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poecile
They start inspecting holes in mid february, and will start building in late March (depending on where you are and what the spring is like). Earlier in the south, later in the north. They time breeding to coincide with the emergence of moth caterpillars in May.

I ring blue tit broods at 11-15 days old, and last year the first brood was ringed on 20th May and the last on 6th June. The year before it was 21st May and 8th June. That would put first egg laying at around 2nd week of April for the first birds. Nest-building, in a nestbox, will start in earnest 1-2 weeks before that. So, that's about the end of March for the first birds in Cambs.
Here in the North-east corner of Hampshire, I've been watching our local Blue Tits over the last six years, and while serious nest building doesn't start until mid-March they usually start inspecting holes soon after Christmas, with small amounts of straw appearing soon afterwards, certainly by mid January, as though they are emphasising their claim.

Having said that, the only time this year that I've seen the Blue Tits look into my nestbox was a few days ago. However, today the Great Tits seem to have started to do some serious house-hunting, and they have been in both the Blue Tit and the Robin boxes (both covered by cctv cameras) this morning, so my fingers are crossed. Images of the visits are in my diary entry for today.
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Old Saturday 10th March 2012, 18:55   #14
Jiroma
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Ringing

Quote:
Originally Posted by KnockerNorton View Post
They start inspecting holes in mid february, and will start building in late March (depending on where you are and what the spring is like). Earlier in the south, later in the north. They time breeding to coincide with the emergence of moth caterpillars in May.

I ring blue tit broods at 11-15 days old, and last year the first brood was ringed on 20th May and the last on 6th June. The year before it was 21st May and 8th June. That would put first egg laying at around 2nd week of April for the first birds. Nest-building, in a nestbox, will start in earnest 1-2 weeks before that. So, that's about the end of March for the first birds in Cambs.
Hi, Can you tell me why and then how you ring blue tit chicks. I can only imagine its to see who comes back next year. I've always been fascinated by how these little birds who have never seen a nest being built or know anything about the selection process for a site, manage to find themselves somewhere to live and breed.
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Old Monday 14th May 2012, 09:35   #15
Rob Rhind
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Hi all

I moved from Coventry to Devon in early July last year. Bluetit nesting behaviour down here is bizarre.

2011 - Coventry - 9 eggs 18/4/11 - 6 chicks flew the nest 18/5/11
Nesting had been starting a day or two earlier for a number of years.

New Devon home with camera bluetit box on house, sparrow terrace box on house and great tit/bluetit box on detached garage - total plot size around one third of an acre All nestboxes have bluetit nests and there is a fourth nest in the eves.

Very late to nest. The camera box was the last to start in early may with a nasty fight in the box on 4th May followed by very fast nest building and the first egg laid on 8th May, around one month later than Coventry. As far as I know nothing has hatched yet in any of the nests.

Anyone else experiencing a change in nesting behaviour this year?
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Old Tuesday 9th April 2013, 17:09   #16
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Hi I have a lot of woodland behind my house and we see many birds including blue tits. Last year out of the bloom a pair of blue tits nested in a hole in the wall resulting in 6 chicks. However since then we have filled the whole and put a bird box in its place. Will the blue tits use the box? Or is it to late we put it up early April. Ive also heard that you should put dog hair/ cat hair around in bushes for them to use should I do this?
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