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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Is my bluetit family behaving as it should? (1 Viewer)

Hi All, I'm new to this group so please forgive me if I write something that may not be in keeping with the ethics of this group. I asked my husband to install a birdbox with a camera and for 2 years or so no interest. Then this year I saw a bluetit fly in with nesting materials, so with fingers crossed that the camera inside was still working I logged into the camera, luckily it was. From the footage I could see a nest being built. All was going well until, I logged in and saw an intruder bluetit fighting with the existing occupant. It was quite a full on attack and luckily I managed to record a bit of it. Anyway, after a few days I noticed that there was no more action in the bird box, I took a photo everyday just to see if anything was added but sadly not, the nest was abandoned. I stopped checking after 2 weeks (end of March) and forgot all about it, then I remembered and planned to clean it out with the hope I might get a family later. Got the ladder up and looked in, to my shock there was 4 eggs (18 April). I quickly left and checked the camera and there were 4 eggs in the nest but no bird incubating them. Moving on, I'm frequently checking on this clutch and I've noticed that the mother bird only comes back in the evening to sit on them. She has since added another 4 eggs (I even caught her laying one) but she disappears come the morning. She does cover them with nesting materials but doesn't sit on them like I would expect. Is this normal behaviour and do you think they will hatch? The nest is full of my dog's hair which I put out as he was going through a moult and I put it out for the birds after I brushed him. Please let me know your thoughts. I attach a few photos, the time is out by 1 hour as I haven't changed the clock for BST.


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I just read this.
Eggs are laid at the rate of one a day, usually in the morning, until the clutch of 8 - 12 eggs is completed (there are 11 eggs in this nest). The female starts incubating the day before the last egg is laid and she continues to incubate for around two weeks.


I believe that the eggs are incubated at various times and temperatures so that they hatch at the optimum time for weather and food supply. Cooler temperatures (within reason) slow down the development of the embryos but doesn't harm them
Welcome to Birdforum. I hope you enjoy your visits.

It is not a good idea to try to remove a nest even if you think it has been abandoned - as you discovered! Nest boxes should be left until September to clean out.

You may find this information helpful.

If the mother comes back each day it should be fine, lots of birds with large clutches only start incubating after the last egg has been laid. Please keep us updated!

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