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Blue tit nesting activity ?

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Old Tuesday 8th March 2005, 18:11   #1
Kiscokid
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Blue tit nesting activity ?

The box I put up in Winter 2003 has seen some activity these last two nights. At dusk I have seen a blue tit sit on the branch nearby to it - fidgeting for about 5 minutes - looking left, right, up and down - before flying in to the box.
When I have gone outside and the nightlight has come on - I can see a little of its face looking out through the hole checking to see what is out there.

Could anyone hazard a guess as to whether this bluetit is nesting - or just getting some warmth for the night?

I'm intrigued and also pleased that the box is getting some use.
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Old Tuesday 8th March 2005, 18:18   #2
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Could be either.

We have had a Great Tit roosting on a night since November, luckily our box is camera monitored.

But over the past few days we have had a few Blue Tits checking it out during the day as a potential home.
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Old Tuesday 8th March 2005, 19:07   #3
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I have had great tits checking out one of my boxes, and doing a bit of courting. I've never seen it before. I have a small hawthorn bush (selfsown). They were hopping around in this then one (male?) would try to fly a bit like a humming bird as if it was treading water or learning to fly. Very cute and almost cartooney. This carried on quite a while, and in other bushes too.
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Old Tuesday 8th March 2005, 19:21   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiscokid
The box I put up in Winter 2003 has seen some activity these last two nights. At dusk I have seen a blue tit sit on the branch nearby to it - fidgeting for about 5 minutes - looking left, right, up and down - before flying in to the box.
When I have gone outside and the nightlight has come on - I can see a little of its face looking out through the hole checking to see what is out there.

Could anyone hazard a guess as to whether this bluetit is nesting - or just getting some warmth for the night?

I'm intrigued and also pleased that the box is getting some use.
Hi Kiscokid
I agree with Marmot, it could be either, although I think it could nesting as the box in my garden has had bluetits nesting in it for the past thre years and "YES" low and behold they are back again, in and out allday for the fourth year.

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Old Wednesday 9th March 2005, 11:48   #5
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Does anyone know how close to each other great and blue tits will nest? We've greats interested in a plywood box and blues looking at a 'log' type box. They're about 3 mts apart, but the greats are chasing the blues off. Will they not tolerate them near?
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Old Wednesday 9th March 2005, 17:21   #6
Kiscokid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenBee
Hi Kiscokid
I agree with Marmot, it could be either, although I think it could nesting as the box in my garden has had bluetits nesting in it for the past thre years and "YES" low and behold they are back again, in and out allday for the fourth year.

DenBee
Its interesting and quite exciting. Tonight - at 6pm I saw both in the shrubs for 5-10 minutes - before one (the female? - slightly scruffier and duller coloured of the two) hopped into the box. The other waited outside for 10 minutes and then flew off into the near-dark.......so I presume that they 'split-up' during the evening??

Sorry if you've heard all this before - but its a new experience for me to observe!
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Old Thursday 10th March 2005, 17:58   #7
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i've had blue tits checking out 2 of my boxes,one's gettingthe full moving in treatment now as well.Went outinto the garden today to have a word with a squirrel when my attention got distracted by what i thought was a great tit in distress,turns out there were 2 of them fighting to the death by the looks of things.
I disturbed them and they both looked very annoyed,maybe its a bust up over territory or females.
any guesses ??
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Old Thursday 10th March 2005, 18:10   #8
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by finchy
i've had blue tits checking out 2 of my boxes,one's gettingthe full moving in treatment now as well.Went outinto the garden today to have a word with a squirrel when my attention got distracted by what i thought was a great tit in distress,turns out there were 2 of them fighting to the death by the looks of things.
I disturbed them and they both looked very annoyed,maybe its a bust up over territory or females.
any guesses ??
The bust up will be over territory, have you noticed birds singing more in a morning, its all about what belongs to who. And as lovely as we all think this singing is, to other birds they are saying bog off this is mine. Just wait untill the season is in full swing, then watch the fun and games. Would be interested to hear how yours get on, good luck.
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Old Thursday 10th March 2005, 18:14   #9
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Hi finchy, forgot to add the singing is also about trying to attract a mate.
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Old Thursday 10th March 2005, 20:02   #10
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cheers,you'll be please to know that i've been feeding various memebers of a flock of starlings at work all through the winter,sometimes there's as many as 200.Beautiful noises they make when they get together.Only ever had a lone starling in my garden though.
I'll keep you posted on the nestbox front,so far it seems that its just the blue tits who are nest inspecting,great tits too busy squabbling.But you're right there's a lot more singing in the mornings.
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Old Friday 11th March 2005, 07:05   #11
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We have blue-tits interested in the bird boxes at the moment too. I'm keeping my fingers crossed as we've just put a box up with a camera in it, so I do hope they pick that one! They have been peering in it and have checked out the cabling underneath -which seemed to be done to their satisfaction, so I just hope they go for it. We'll just have to wait and see!!
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Old Friday 11th March 2005, 07:34   #12
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It is all about territory. The weather has been so mild this year despite the recent cold snap that the birds have enough energy to hold territories aahead of time. Blue tits are a good month away from nesting in earnest but they are staking territories out because they can. You may see roosting in nest boxes, pecking at the entrance to claim the box, even some desultory efforts to collect nest materials and there is an awful lot of pair bonding going on. I was watching three blue tits interacting outside the window yesterday and there was quiet a prolonged courtship flight at one point. Who said blue tits were boring?

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Old Friday 11th March 2005, 19:08   #13
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you're right peter i've had all that behaviour going on this week,1 blue tit arrives first thing in the morning and then stands guard for a couple of hours chasing off anything that takes a shine to the box.However yesterday he did bring along a prospective mate who took a look inside and then flew away again.
Not sure what's going to happen yet but 2 boxes look claimed at the moment,there's a long way to go though.
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Old Tuesday 22nd March 2005, 11:47   #14
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Ive got a pair of Blue Tits interested in the box I put up. Have seen one entering with moss (I can see quite a bit of moss when I look up through the small gap in the bottom of the box), and this morning one was ready to enter with a very small twig.

Cannot tell if they are nesting properly though as no camera in the box. I spent a few hours watching at the weekend and not many vists.

picture of the box and tit, http://www.pbase.com/image/40815963
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Old Tuesday 22nd March 2005, 12:11   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finchy
i've had blue tits checking out 2 of my boxes,one's gettingthe full moving in treatment now as well.Went outinto the garden today to have a word with a squirrel when my attention got distracted by what i thought was a great tit in distress,turns out there were 2 of them fighting to the death by the looks of things.
I disturbed them and they both looked very annoyed,maybe its a bust up over territory or females.
any guesses ??
We have had a bust up already in the nestbox. The overnight roosting Great Tit was sat on his normal tree to the left of the box calling away (sound a bit threatening though) unbeknown to us a Blue Tit (Scruff I have named him due to his appearance - who had been hanging around the box most of the day with his lady) was sat on the tree to the right watching him. The moment that GT made his move to the box BT flew in at the same time, a quick fight took place in the box and GT pushed BT out as well as taking about a dozen feathers from BT's back.

I believe that BT has found a box on the side of a neighbours house - the only trouble is it is facing in the wrong direction, which may cause problems in the sunny weather..
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Old Tuesday 22nd March 2005, 12:33   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Peters
You may see roosting in nest boxes, pecking at the entrance to claim the box, even some desultory efforts to collect nest materials
That's very interesting, Ian. We put some nest boxes up the other week and a Blue Tit has been investigating it. I noticed it pecking around the hole, but as it's not a wooden one, I couldn't imagine that it was trying to make the hole bigger! Now I know.

A Great Tit tried to get in it as well, so we've had to go out and buy one with a bigger hole for them!
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Old Wednesday 23rd March 2005, 15:07   #17
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I've also had lots of activity. One Great Tit showed an interest in one of the boxes, but the Blueys seem to have taken over! Heard LOTS of singing etc. One thing is, either one pair is checking out every possible nesting place (at the same time) or I have a lot of pairs around! Had one pair interested particularly in one box. They used to tentatively perch at the box, then go in for a minute or two after some deliberation.
This morning I saw one fly straight in, with the other perching at the hole at the same time. Is it likely they will nest? When will they start?
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Old Thursday 24th March 2005, 17:00   #18
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I had some interest in my blue tit box up until a couple of weeks ago then it completely stopped. I have just noticed, however, that there is a blackbird nesting in a bush about 20ft away from the nest box. Anyone know if the blackbird is likely to be scaring the blue tits away?
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Old Monday 18th April 2005, 13:15   #19
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new thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by dampflippers
I have had great tits checking out one of my boxes, and doing a bit of courting. I've never seen it before. I have a small hawthorn bush (selfsown). They were hopping around in this then one (male?) would try to fly a bit like a humming bird as if it was treading water or learning to fly. Very cute and almost cartooney. This carried on quite a while, and in other bushes too.

I started a new thread before coming across ths one, same subject matter.
Any developments?
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Old Tuesday 26th April 2005, 08:13   #20
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can somebody please enlighten me,althought i feel i may be onto the answer.
I have blue tits possibly nesting in 3 nestboxes in my garden.This morning i noticed one of the blue tits taking some nesting material out of the box and placing it in various spots high up in the trees,then it disappeared back inside the box and a few minutes later reappeared and collected all the nesting material and took it back in the box.
Spring cleaning or is it possible she's laying eggs and then re-covering them after,although it does seem a bit extreme to take the material out of the box completely.
Also one more thing i keep noticing small white feathers in the garden,could these be the featehrs from the brood patches ??
many thanks in advance for all possible answers.
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