Thursday, 25 April 2013

Nest Box Cam Update

I've been keeping an eye on the progress of the Blue Tit nest over the last few days.  I just switch the camera on briefly, in the evening at this stage to make sure we don't scare them off.

This is the nest looking almost finished.   

Blue Tit Nest 25-4-13
I found out a fascinating fact the other day (well I thought it was anyway!)

Only the female Blue Tit builds the nest.

Begs the question, what on earth is the male doing all this time?  I see both of them around the garden and in the Mahonia tree outside the shed on which the nest box is located and both of them go in and out, but apparently only the female is bringing nesting material and building, so I guess the male must be offering encouragement and inspecting her work!

Eggs generally won't be laid until the start of May.  Will be interesting to see if this still holds true after our late Spring because Blue Tits need caterpillars to feed their young and time the hatching to correspond with the hatching of the caterpillars.  I've not seen many butterflies or moths about yet.

Looking forward to seeing the nest completed and the first egg laid.  She won't brood the clutch until the penultimate egg is laid, laying one per day.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Nest Box Cam...

Something a little different from me today.  I have waited 5 years.  Blue Tits have toyed with us for the last few years, showing interest, the male going in the box and the female having none of it!

This year we saw activity again and kept out fingers crossed and with great excitement this week we switched the camera on to see several pieces of moss had been brought in.  The last 2 days they've been really busy and tonight I switched on the camera again and this is what I saw....

Nest Box Cam
Nest Box Cam
What is fascinating to me is that they are obviously building the nest from the front towards the back.  I have cleaned out several next boxes in the past when a kid and Blue Tits have a very thick nest of moss  and then they line the center with downy feathers.  

I always assumed that they built the nest in layers, so covered the base and worked up.  This obviously isn't the case from what we can see here.  

I have watched Springwatch for many years and you never see these kind of images as they always time it so the Blue Tits have eggs and are feeding chicks, which I understand because that is what viewers want to see but I'm fascinating to see this building process and finally find out what is happening when these cute little birds disappear into the box!