Early Start… and we missed it!

After weeks of carefully watching a pair of blue tits building the nest, laying the eggs and rearing their young we missed the big event as the surviving 3 chicks left the nest. They must have flown early this morning as they were definitely still in the next as darkness fell last night. Now kicking myself for not leaving the camera recording all night.

Here they are over the last weekend.

The parents are feeding the chicks in the surrounding bushes and trees and I managed to catch a few photos of one of them that crash landed in next doors flower bed. As you can see, it did make it back into the tree after some coaxing and bribes of food from both parents.

It’s been a little traumatic watching the nest over the weeks as they did start with 10 eggs. At one stage they were losing a chick per day and we thought that they were all going to go the same way. However, 3 did survive the last 4/5 days with constant feeding from both parents they’ve managed to avoid whatever afflicted their siblings and it’s good to see them make it out of the box.

Time to start planning for next year and I hope to have better cameras with different viewing angles, plus I will fix the night vision.

Mark

Blue Tit Nest Box Update

As of today there are 4 surviving chicks from the original 10 eggs. The mortality rate seems a bit high although chicks dying is inevitable and one of the reasons blue tits and other small short lived birds lay so many eggs. Watching other nest box cameras it seems quite a few nests have failed or produced few young this year. I don’t know enough to say why for sure but it could be related to the exceptionally warm March bringing the bugs out early and the subsequent cold snap killing them off.

The 4 chicks are getting the full attention of both parents who are doing a good job keeping the nest clean and feeding the chicks. Chicks that have died have been quickly removed. The parents are managing to find at least some of the green caterpillars essential for successful blue tit rearing as you can see from this picture taken today.

Just click on the image for the large version and don’t forget to to watch the live stream from the Nest Cam link at the top of this page.

More updates soon, fledging should be around 21 days after hatching so 8th June or thereabouts.

Mark

Blue Tit Eggs Hatched 18th May

On the 18th of May the eggs started to hatch. It looks like we have at least 7 healthy chicks and at least one egg unhatched, so potentially 2 others didn’t survive.
Both parents are very busy from dawn ’till dusk feeding 7 increasingly hungry mouths. Some of the bugs being brought back have been alsmost as big as the chicks and have taken some getting down.

Here is a clip of some feeding, ending with the male bringing some food back and wanting to give to the chicks. However, the female has other ideas… guess who wins?

You can watch the live feed on the Nest Cam page, linked from the top of this page. Watch the how the chicks cock their backsides in the air when they want mum to clean up!

Mark