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Blue tit nesting timeline (1 Viewer)

DLMJJ

Member
United Kingdom
Hi folks, this is my first post in BF. I am hoping someone may be able to offer some advice or insight. I put up a bird box last autumn and was lucky enough to have a pair of blue tits inspecting it from January onwards. I’m not sure when nest building began or ended but I heard low level cheeping coming from the nest box on May 4th which made me think at least one egg had hatched. For the next three weeks both parents were coming back and forth constantly with insects and caterpillars very attentively. About 10 days ago (approx 31st May) the nest box became very noisy, lots of loud cheeping from what sounded like many babies, and the parents continued to come back and forth. About 7 days ago the male bird left and hasn’t returned. I’ve not seen any fledging happening and there’s no sign in the garden of any juvenile blue tits having been on the ground or attacked and I’ve been watching the nest box like a hawk! I have of course totally stayed away as per the advice for wild birds. However for the last 7 days the noise from the nest box has been limited to one bird only and it cheeps all day. Just one voice constantly cheeping. The female bird is still coming and going with food but this timeline seems awfully long for there to be any babies left in the nest box. Is it that the remaining bird could be trapped? Mum is still attentive but as mentioned she is alone and there are no fledglings following her whenever I see her. Which makes me wonder where are the other babies if no longer in the nest box. The male bird up until a week ago had been incredibly attentive, could he be somewhere looking after the fledglings? Is it normal for there still to be one left in there this late in the timeline? I thought they’d have all fledged by now and latest about end of May. Thanks in advance!
 

Mono

Hi!
Staff member
Supporter
Europe
Blue tits will incubate for 13-15 days and then it will be a further 18-21 days before fledging. Once fledged the birds will leave the vicinity of the nest box.
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Hi DLMJJ and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators. Sorry I can't really add much to what Mono has said. I guess it's possible that the male could have died, which makes life extremely difficult for the remaining adult.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I look forward to hearing your news.
 

DLMJJ

Member
United Kingdom
Hi DLMJJ and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators. Sorry I can't really add much to what Mono has said. I guess it's possible that the male could have died, which makes life extremely difficult for the remaining adult.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I look forward to hearing your news.
Thank you so much for the reply 😊
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
Hi there and a warm welcome to you! (y)
We're glad you found us and please join in wherever you like. ;)
 

DLMJJ

Member
United Kingdom
Sadly not good news folks. I heard no cheeping from the nest box today so took it down and all the chicks are dead. It appears one or more has died and then the rot has set in and the rest have succumbed to it. Lots of maggots. I saw about 5 which were in various stages of decomposition and one which looked ready to fledge, who I heard cheeping yesterday, but was sadly tangled in some of the nesting material so obviously couldn’t get out of the nest. A sad end but nature has its own ways 🥹
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Aaaaw!!! Oh that really is so sad.

Thanks for letting us know though.
 

YuShan

hikingbirdman.com
United Kingdom
Sad to read about your nest box :(

Long time ago I maintained a blog with videos about my Blue Tit nestbox. I followed all from initial inspection, nest building, breeding and fledging. Perhaps it could be useful to you to see the different behaviours and stages of development and the timeline of it all. I'm not maintaining it anymore but I think it is still a nice and useful archive.

 

DLMJJ

Member
United Kingdom
Sad to read about your nest box :(

Long time ago I maintained a blog with videos about my Blue Tit nestbox. I followed all from initial inspection, nest building, breeding and fledging. Perhaps it could be useful to you to see the different behaviours and stages of development and the timeline of it all. I'm not maintaining it anymore but I think it is still a nice and useful archive.

Oh wow that’s great thank you so much I’ll definitely take a look. Appreciate you offering that. I did as much searching of the internet as possible to try and understand the behaviours I was witnessing but couldn’t find anything which appeared concrete. Having watched them for the last 3+ months it’s been very hard knowing they all died one by one in awful circumstances. Because of the maggots I decided to get rid of this particular nest box and the mother bird came back twice looking for it which was devastating to observe. I wouldn’t have ever interfered but it’s hard to know I may have been able to help, not that it would’ve been right to do so. Again, thanks for your post and useful resource 😊
 

YuShan

hikingbirdman.com
United Kingdom
For next year you can consider getting a nest box with camera. In my case it was some of the best money ever spent, because I got so many hours of enjoyment out of it and learned so much about the birds! :)

For me this wasn't a great year either. There were 9 eggs, of which at least 8 hatched. But only 3 chicks eventually fledged.
 

DLMJJ

Member
United Kingdom
For next year you can consider getting a nest box with camera. In my case it was some of the best money ever spent, because I got so many hours of enjoyment out of it and learned so much about the birds! :)

For me this wasn't a great year either. There were 9 eggs, of which at least 8 hatched. But only 3 chicks eventually fledged.
Yeah I was considering a box with camera for next year but I don’t know if I could withstand another nest failing 😫 time will tell. I’ve been wondering why the parent birds didn’t remove the dead ones from the nest but the only thing I witnessed was that they appeared to be stuck. The nest cup itself didn’t seem very well formed and the nest materials inadequate. At least 3 appeared to be caught on some hair or twine in the nest box.
 

DLMJJ

Member
United Kingdom
Yeah I was considering a box with camera for next year but I don’t know if I could withstand another nest failing 😫 time will tell. I’ve been wondering why the parent birds didn’t remove the dead ones from the nest but the only thing I witnessed was that they appeared to be stuck. The nest cup itself didn’t seem very well formed and the nest materials inadequate. At least 3 appeared to be caught on some hair or twine in the nest box.
Sorry about your nest too but at least three made it out in to the world 😊
 

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