Nesting Bluetits

In the corner of the back garden is a large cherry blossom tree on which there is a bird box. Since we moved into the house there have been a couple of years when blue tits have nested in the box and according to our neighbours, in some years previous. Last year we had some work carried out to reduce the tree canopy and decided that the bird box was looking a little worse for wear and decided to replace it, with one with a inbuilt camera. It wasn’t long before blue tits showed an interest and had it not been for the sudden change in weather and prolonged snow they probably would have nested in the box.

A year on there were no signs of any bluetits showing an interest and I was beginning to think that we would have yet another year with the box empty. When one morning bluetits were spotted going into and soon after leaving the box, in their beaks they carried moss. Later that same day I got the camera up and running, with some help as I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting a picture. In my excitement I had forgotton a basic thing, to turn on the plug. The bluetits had been busy, as there on the screen was the nest looking pretty much finished.

Nothing appeared to happen for a few days and I didn’t see much of the blue tits. So imagine my surprise one evening when I switched on the camera to find a nest with three eggs inside, and then minutes later saw the bluetit go into the box and settle down for the night.

Last night as she settled down there was another blue tit at the door of the box and she made a right racket, making a noise not too dissimilar to crows. Not quite sure if the other bird was her mate or another bluetit after the box, but the noise soon sent them on their way.

Today she has laid her fifth egg and every time she leaves the box she pulls the nesting material over them to keep them warm. Every time she goes back to sit on the eggs she rearranges them beneath her ensuring they are all well tucked in. It is said that she could lay up to 10 eggs, if this is the case I have no idea how all those chicks will fit in that small box once they hatch.