Very strange "goings on". When the camera was switched on in January, the box was full of nest material eventhough it had been emptied
at the end of 2020. The bird then carefully removed all this material and refilled the nest box. This time adding more than the usual
number of feathers.
April and the start of May was very cold. 10 eggs were laid and these started to hatch on 27 April. The parents were struggling to
feed the chicks and instead of the usual diet of caterpillars, they appeared to be feeding them files, spiders and daddy long legs.
The female started to build the nest early. It looked like it was very comfortable with lots of feathers. By 10 april there
appeared to be 10 eggs in the nest. Just like last year they started to hatch on 24 April, one at first then by the end of the day 9 had hatched.
You can see the two timelapse videos of the eggs hatching. Number 1
and Number 2.
This video shows a proud mum and dad watching the second
hatchling trying to get out of its shell. This amusing video
shows a chick with half an eggshell stuck on its head. Finally this
video shows what happens to the old eggshells. Mum eats them.
By 26 April, it looks like all the eggs have hatched and the hard work for mum and dad starts.
On 14 May, 10 young blue tits fledged leaving one unhatched egg in the nest. That was after 20 very frantic days
where the parents spent all their time bringing caterpillars for the young birds to eat. They were arriving with food almost every 5 minutes.
It is difficult to imagine where all those caterpillars were coming from!.
If you watch the time lapse video
you can see all the action as the 10 birds prepare to leave the nest. At one point
all this action stops and they are very quiet. This is because a crow or magpie was waiting outside the birdbox ....
This video shows one of the parents arriving to feed the greedy
young mouths. Watch carefully and you can see one hatchling being given a caterpillar that it cannot swallow. The parent takes it
out and feeds part of it to another
The eggs have started to hatch, by 24 April, there were 5 hatchlings and 7 eggs remaining. The
video shows the male arriving with a caterpillar
which the female tries to feed to the hatchlings, eventually giving up and eating it herself. It also shows her getting
an eggshell and eating it. The hard work for the parents now starts.
The male is caring for the female. See the amusing
here is a nice tasty worm for you darling video.
and a more successful attempt yum yum!
Two years ago when the pair raised 12 chicks, it was amazing that although the eggs
were laid many days apart, the all hatched within 2 days of each other.
I assume burying the early eggs is one way the female slows down their development so they can all hatch together.
Before the female built a nest, a blue tit regularly roosted in the empty nest box every night.
Watching the birds in the garden was interesting as it appears this behaviour was an attempt to secure territory.
Often we saw two tits, one chasing the other towards the box. The one that got there first "dived" into the box as if to say "this is
mine keep out". The other bird often hovered around the outside for some time before leaving.
On the 6th March, the second bird went into the box and there was a long and vicious fight, you can see the recording
here. At then end of the fight both birds left the nest and non came
back to roost overnight. We thought they had managed cause serious damage to each other or possibly killed each other.