It is just over a week now since the bluetit laid her last egg, counting nine in total. For the last week she has spent a lot more time at the nest keeping the eggs incubated and only leaves the nest to feed. Initially the male was going into the box to feed the female, but it has become apparent that the male calls for the female to leave the box so that he can feed her outside. On occasion the pair have been seen flying off together, but she never goes far as she will only leave the nest for a short period of time.
The other day we had a sparrow hawk land in the tree whilst the bluetit was out and about. Under normal circumstances we would admire such a bird. However, we have become protective of our blue tit and we quickly made some commotion in the garden that sent the bird on its way. After all she’s part of the family now and we couldn’t let anything happen to her.
I found out that during the incubation time the female plucks out her own feathers to line the nest. This was proven to be the case as the nest has become more snug and soft looking. I assume that that this is to help incubate the eggs and keep the fledglings warm when they hatch. I think there is an incubation period of 12-16 days, this would mean that come the weekend we could have the first of the bluetits starting to hatch.