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Great Tit pecking at inside of nest-box - question

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Old Monday 7th April 2014, 21:05   #1
Sancho
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Great Tit pecking at inside of nest-box - question

Hi, my brother phoned me today to say that Great Tits have occupied a nest box with camera in his garden. Prior to beginning building, one of the pair spent a lot of time in the box, "wood-pecking" furiously at various parts of the interior, especially a small wood-knot on the floor. His question is, why? I dont have an answer. Any offers?
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Old Monday 7th April 2014, 21:10   #2
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They like solving "knotty" problems Sancho.

Sorry.... I'll go back to sleep!
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Old Monday 7th April 2014, 21:51   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delia todd View Post
They like solving "knotty" problems Sancho.

Sorry.... I'll go back to sleep!
Its as good an answer as any I have to offer, Delia!
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Old Saturday 12th April 2014, 09:22   #4
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It's an age old question and something they spend a lot of time doing, especially around the entrance hole. I spent a long time researching it recently and it seems there are nothing but theories available, no definite answer! Most likely it's a homely touch thing, as much as we would change things if we moved in to a new house, they're doing the same thing. They of course would do it in a natural nest site or a nest box without a camera!
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Old Saturday 12th April 2014, 10:16   #5
chris butterworth
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Agree with Joe. They would probably spend time enlarging / tidying up nest holes in trees so pecking at a (protruding?) knot in a nest box would be an extension of that.
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Old Thursday 15th May 2014, 19:39   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeRawles View Post
It's an age old question and something they spend a lot of time doing, especially around the entrance hole. I spent a long time researching it recently and it seems there are nothing but theories available, no definite answer! Most likely it's a homely touch thing, as much as we would change things if we moved in to a new house, they're doing the same thing. They of course would do it in a natural nest site or a nest box without a camera!
There's a pretty good theory that it's to kill the growing tree bark cells around a nest entrance. Birds often nest in live trees with an entrance as narrow as they can get away with (to exclude predators and competitors). The bark at the entrance to these holes will grow in spring, when the birds are using it, which will make the hole more narrow, and possibly excluding the birds themselves. Eventually, many tree holes close over completely, evening within just a few years. By pecking away the bark, the birds prevent this happening, and prevent it getting too narrow during the breeding season.

See the penultimate paragraph here:
https://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/f...0256-p0257.pdf

It's the most convincing theory that I've heard.
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