The chicks started to hatch on the 2nd June. They were very tiny so it was hard to see how many hatched but they were reaching for food straight away when the parents returned.
Both parents are bringing food and if you look on the nestbox camera you can tell them apart from the male’s tatty hairdo. He’s top left in this picture.
Several days after hatching it’s still not easy to see exactly how many chicks there are. It looked like there was at least one egg unhatched a couple of days after the others and up to 7 beaks have been seen so far. Looking quite healthy and growing quickly, the parents are very active and appear to be finding plenty of food. We have heard of a lot of pairs nesting earlier than these two where the nests have failed. Hopefully with these two being late they have avoided the shortage of food due to the late start to spring.
We have seen 9 eggs this morning, on per day since the first egg was spotted on 13th May. This morning the female has been spending most of the time sitting on the eggs so it looks like she has started incubating them, which also means that 9 eggs is probably it.
Incubation will take around 2 weeks, between 12-16 days and fledging a further 15-23 days. Last year was just about 3 weeks but a lot will depend on the food supply, which could have been affected by the cold winter.
Breeding Starts: Mid April
Number of clutches: 1-2 (2 is rare)
Number of eggs: 5-16
Incubation: 12-16 days
Fledge: 15-23 days
After just about giving up for this year, we noticed that a pair of blue tits were nest building in our camera nest box over the weekend of 11th & 12th May. Last year building started around 5th April, so a good bit later than last no doubt due to the persistant cold weather throughout April.
Early on Monday 13th May we noticed that we had one egg. Since then another egg has been laid early in the morning each day up to todays count of 7 eggs. There can be anything up to 16 eggs, however blue tits nesting in gardens as opposed to woodland tend to lay less, usually around 10.
She comes back to the nest box occasionally during the day and then returns for the night sometime after 7pm, well before dark. She will only start incubating them full time once all eggs have been laid. This ensures that all the eggs hatch around the same time.
We do have a live stream from the nest box, just follow the link abve. The nest box camera is not always active as it requires our main PC to on, which it is not all the time. However, once things become a bit more interesting we shall try and keep the live feed up as much as possible.
Just leave a comment below if you have any questions.