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Blue Tit Behaviour (1 Viewer)

Chriz P

New member
Hello all, I’m looking for some kind of explanation for the behaviour that has occurred over recent days and I’m hoping that someone here might help.

I’ve had my blue tit bird box and camera set up in several places over the past 6 or so years without any luck but this year I repositioned it without much expectation but within hours there was lots of interest and the first night up it was being used to roost in.

Now I’m a little naive here, I thought this was all going to be fluffy clouds and lady bird books. So, she built a nest, laid 9 eggs with only 4 hatching last week, both male and female carrying out their duties well, chicks growing quickly.

I can view the action remotely from my phone and proudly show anybody that I manage to corner the live footage and most people seem interested.
A few days ago this happened and I noticed that there was some phrenetic behaviour happening in the box. With closer inspection I could see an adult blue tit in the box who was not either the resident male or female but an intruder.
I assume it was another male and over the course of the next hour or so, proceeded to rough up the nest and kill the chicks. It was sad and distressing to watch as you could imagine.

The resident pair returned with food and seemed confused. The female did roost in the box that night but not on the nest but towards the edge. She didn’t roost there last night, which was the first night she hadn’t.
I’m guessing it was a rival protecting its territory to enhance the chances for its own young.

My question is, is this common blue tit behaviour and will they re-use the nest or should I clear it out as there are now the dead chicks in there? Thanks for your time.
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
The actions are most likely as you described it, a rogue male defending it's own or killing a brood. Maybe an unpaired individual. The nest contents are best removed ( upsetting of course ) and everything cleaned ready for next year. I doubt it will be used again this year but strange things happens.
 

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