The Ups and Downs of Nesting

After a really sad end to the Great tit brood last Friday night, we can report that we have our first Blue tilt chick this morning! The Great tits abandoned the nest, possibly due to difficulties keeping the brood fed during last week’s bad weather. Spring has been a bit delayed this year so let’s hope that the Blue tits have got it right by nesting later. The Oak trees have finally come into leaf so hopefully the adults will be able to find plenty of caterpillars to feed their chicks.

Chicks being fed at one week old

10th June – At two weeks old, the chicks have feathers and can be seen stretching their wings. Their eyes are open and the nine chicks fight for the best position when the parents return with some food. On average, Blue tit chicks fledge around three weeks after fledging so you might start to see signs of them wanting to leave from this weekend (15th June).

Feeding, cleaning up and a lot of wing flapping – 14th June

Sunday 16th June – The surviving four chicks spent the night in the box without any adults. The smallest chick didn’t appear to be getting its fair share of food during the following morning and by lunchtime it had died. The remaining three chicks look very active and the adults have been trying really hard to tempt them out of the box but they have only ventured to the hole once or twice. Flies have been attracted to the box which seems to bother one of the adults; it has tried jumping up to catch them. The chicks are three weeks old tomorrow so they should fledge any time now.

One of the chicks fledged on Monday morning (17th June); the other two spent another night in the box and fledged in the early hours of the following morning.

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