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Great Tit Nest in Chimenea - Advice needed (1 Viewer)

CDOWNHAM

Member
United Kingdom
Hi,
I'm in desperate need of some advice. I have a rusty old Chimenea as a garden decoration and am lucky to have discovered that I have a Great Tit nest with 8 eggs inside. The Chimenea has no funnel and the only way in and out is through the smallish hole at the top where the funnel would have fitted. This is all very exciting but I have some concerns:
1. How will the fledgings get out and learn to fly. The Chimenea is only about 2 feet tall.
2. There are so many cats around - I have a cat that goes outdoors and I believe she suspects there's something going on of interest in the Chimenea now. Yes I am a cat lover but there is no way I can just stand by and watch devastation take place so how do I protect the family of tits? Should I move the Chimenea to somewhere safe? Any suggestions where? Keeping the cat in is not an option and there are many others around. Do I put up some sort of fenced protection to stop larges animals getting near the nest? Not sure how this will help the fledglings though. Should I provide food for them?

I am so lucky to have this experience but find that I'm now worrying about their survival.

Just to add, I also have regular fox & badger visits but believe they wont impose a threat?? Alot of magpies too!
Any advice/guidance would be most welcomed.
Many thanks, Claire
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Hi Claire and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators. I've moved your post to the more appropriate Garden Birds forum

The adults are usually aware of how the fledglings will get out, so that may not be an issue. However, the cat/Magpie will be. 1: if they can get to the nest and 2: when they fledge.

Would it be possible for you to protect the area, or access holes with some chicken wire (spaces large enough for the tits to get in, but not cats and magpies?

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I look forward to hearing your news. Please let us know how you get on.
 

CDOWNHAM

Member
United Kingdom
Hi Claire and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators. I've moved your post to the more appropriate Garden Birds forum

The adults are usually aware of how the fledglings will get out, so that may not be an issue. However, the cat/Magpie will be. 1: if they can get to the nest and 2: when they fledge.

Would it be possible for you to protect the area, or access holes with some chicken wire (spaces large enough for the tits to get in, but not cats and magpies?

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I look forward to hearing your news. Please let us know how you get on.
Thank you for your advice.
My cat sadly makes a beeline for the Chimenea now so she has been restricted to indoors while I attempt to provide suitable protection for the nest. It’s unfortunately situated on the drive backing onto trellis so I was thinking of moving the Chiminea 2 feet along against the bungalow wall & then provide a canopy of something around it. That way cats can’t climb up the trellis & stick their paws into the Chimenea exit! Is it ok to move the Chimenea?
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
The trouble is that moving it might cause the tits to abandon the nest altogether. I have moved a nest once, but only about 6 or so inches or so each day and I made sure the adults weren't around when I did it.

That was successful, but I was quite stressed each time I did it in case the parents deserted.
 

pianoman

duck and diver, bobolink and weaver
I would leave everything where it is, and leave it to fate. Birds have a good instinct for assessing the safety of nesting sites.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
Cyprus
I would leave everything where it is, and leave it to fate. Birds have a good instinct for assessing the safety of nesting sites.
Really?

With this location and predators such as Badgers, Foxes and cats, I don't see these fledglings even getting off the ground sadly.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
Cyprus
Just to add, I also have regular fox & badger visits but believe they wont impose a threat?? Alot of magpies too!
Any advice/guidance would be most welcomed.
Many thanks, Claire
Foxes will definitely have the nest if they can and Badgers eat Hedghogs so a fledgling Tit would be a convenient appetiser I'm afraid.
 

CDOWNHAM

Member
United Kingdom
Thank you to everyone for your responses.
I have boarded part of the trellis so my cat cannot climb up it near the nest site Which she was starting to do. So far this has definitely served as a deterrent.
The eggs haven’t hatched yet but when they do I’ll be restricting my cats outdoor visits and only when I’m home so I can monitor. If need be she’ll have to stay indoors! Operation Chimenea!
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Thank you to everyone for your responses.
I have boarded part of the trellis so my cat cannot climb up it near the nest site Which she was starting to do. So far this has definitely served as a deterrent.
The eggs haven’t hatched yet but when they do I’ll be restricting my cats outdoor visits and only when I’m home so I can monitor. If need be she’ll have to stay indoors! Operation Chimenea!
Thanks so much for the update Claire; it seems you're doing the best you can.

Well done too, for keeping control of your cat during this difficult time. You might find our sticky thread on Cats helpful too. It's full of lots of advice: CATS: Frequently Asked Questions
 

CDOWNHAM

Member
United Kingdom
Update: the eggs hatched about 3 days ago & the baby chicks are being fed by the parents. They are very good at being discreet!
Surrounding area of Chimenea has been barricaded & cat is on accompanied outdoor reduced visits. 🤞🤞🤞
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Excellent news Claire.

I'm so pleased to hear all is going well for them.
 

CDOWNHAM

Member
United Kingdom
Sad news today. Looks like the parents abandoned the nest during the night/late evening. All 6 chicks were cold but 1 slightly moving. I wrapped them up with a hot water bottle & took them to a local lady who rescues birds. She thinks all but 1 have died. I’m so upset but hoping I may have saved one. 😢😢
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Sad news today. Looks like the parents abandoned the nest during the night/late evening. All 6 chicks were cold but 1 slightly moving. I wrapped them up with a hot water bottle & took them to a local lady who rescues birds. She thinks all but 1 have died. I’m so upset but hoping I may have saved one. 😢😢
Oh no!! What a sad outcome after all your care.

Unfortunately many nests fail, often for no known reason. It could be that one of the adults died and the other was unable to do both the duties of brooding the nestlings and providing food.

Thanks for letting us know. Fingers crossed for the remaining youngster.
 

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