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Blue tit nest box and last year's sad ending (1 Viewer)

andy29

New member
United Kingdom
Hi everyone, not really a happy thing to join the forum with but I wondered if I could ask for some thoughts?

Last year we had blue tits in our nest box. Watched them grow up on a camera inside, watched all three survivors fledge early one morning. But they didn't seem to fledge very well and weren't even able to even try to get over the garden fence. They just bounced around in the garden all day. The parents were feeding them ok. I didn't notice anything that would have scared them out, and they hadn't all rushed out at once.

Because the neighborhood cats would probably notice them at some point we had to watch them every moment of the day. As it got dark and after much wondering what to do I eventually decided to put them into a cardboard box in the garage overnight, rather than leave them to almost certain death with the cats.

At first light I put the box out where the parents had last seen them, and things carried on. It was nice to watch them being fed. Eventually two had stopped calling and died, and right at the end of the day the last one just about managed to flutter over the fence, so I don't know what happened to that one after that.

I just wondered what happened and if it's very normal? Shouldn't they have been able to fly off fairly quickly? With the other babies that got dumped in the garden by other birds we had a line up of birds to bury, and the cat watch was tiring. Maybe it's not fair to have a nest box in an area with cats at all? If it's common I don't think I can stomach going through that again. :cry:
 
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Kits

Picture Picker
Welcome to Birdforum! I am sure that you will find lots to interest you here and I hope that you enjoy your visits.

Maybe they fledged too early. I’m not sure what you mean by other babies being dumped in your garden by other birds?
 

andy29

New member
United Kingdom
Thanks Kits! Sorry about the thing about the other birds, I just meant how sometimes a baby doesn't make it in another nest, and the parents removed it and drop it somewhere else, which is sometimes in your garden.

We thought they had probably gone too early, but it just depends how unusual it is. I know there's no way to know what would happen another time but we're really scared of it happening again - it's mainly the protecting them from cats part, because if they'd stayed in the garden for longer we might have had to watch over them from sunrise to sunset for days! We couldn't just let them stand around in the garden. I love animals but I wish the cats weren't around for this season.
 

andy29

New member
United Kingdom
I've just noticed something. We were building a new box because we need a little bit more room inside for a better camera. The box we used in previous years (including last year) was a bought one, and the entrance hole turns out to only be about 9-10cm above the base. Around the internet I'm seeing suggestions of at least 12cm. I wonder if it affected how early they fledged? If the hole had been higher then maybe they would've needed a few more days growth to be able to get out? I had never noticed it was lower than recommended.
 

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