March 13th, 2019 (Outside temperature 9°C, stormy)
What happened so far: Since October 2018, Mrs. Kohlmeise has been sleeping uninterruptedly at night in the box next to the Pond. In the last few days she has begun to renovate the box, in the morning you can hear it hammering and knocking, it is thoroughly cleaned and little material is brought into the box.
The blue tits have already brought a small amount of nest material, i.e. moss, into the box in the summer of 2018, this is done during the day, checked and whirled through several times. The surroundings of the box, i.e. the balcony, including the feeding area, are strictly guarded, especially cabbage and tail titmice are chased away. Even bigger birds like the hawfinch pair become but the robins and blackbirds are pretty cool and keep up.
April 6th, 2019 (Outside temperature 10°C, overcast)
Mrs. Great Tit has laid 11 eggs and hatches already since today.
April 12th, 2019 (Outside temperature 10°C, overcast)
Mrs. Blue Tit imitates the Great Tit and has also laid 11 eggs. However, she is not always to be seen in the nesting box.
April 18th, 2019 (Outside temperature 20°C, sunny)
In the morning three chicks had hatched in the Great tit's nesting box. Mrs. Great tit is temporarily absent, in order to get food but otherwise she breeds and takes care of her offspring.
In the evening it looks as if everyone has hatched, but this would be unusual.
April 22nd, 2019 (Outside temperature 24°C, sunny)
At this moment we can identify 9 chicks. We had already thought that she has to raise them alone. But today we have seen her partner at the nesting-box.
April 26th, 2019 (Outside temperature 12°C, rainy)
After a warm period there was a break from rain today, especially the young great titmice, for whom the hollow has almost become too small, notice this. There are definitely 9 of them and Daddy is now feeding diligently, the first days he hadn't been seen at all.
Today several blue tits had hatched in the early morning, about 7 in the number, one can recognize also in the evening still 3-4 eggs completely down in the nest. Everything is already very routine here, Daddy bluetit is there from the beginning, feeding and disposal work. Due to the lower temperatures the mummy usually stays on the clutch, of course also because of the laggards.
May 04th, 2019 (Outside temperature 7°C, continuous rain)
Since yesterday change of weather, it gets cooler again, hopefully the snow doesn't come to us too! The Great Tit should not be very much affected by the temperatures, the 9 look very lively, are taken care of by the titmice parents, at night one or the other already sleeps beside the hollow, the mummy is still with them.
With the blue ones we could count 8, which are warmed momentarily also during the day still by the mummy. Both titmice are constantly on site, the balcony is probably only partly usable for the next days, which is not really bad with the continuous rain.
By the way, we miss our Black redstart this year, which were usually already in the garden at the end of April and had built their nest in the half cave nesting box.
May 08th, 2019 (Outside temperature 12°C, continuous rain) DAY 20 Great tits
All the nines are outside! We haven't experienced anything like this in the past years. The great titmice had flown out one after the other within a few minutes, none remained. Therefore there is no latecomer this year. It had announced itself yesterday already a little bit, the whole gang was quite excited, but it gave then in the evening only the common scratching and every now and then a few flight exercises. At the exit hole nobody could be seen, also this morning there were only few attempts. The parents continued to feed in a fast rhythm, from time to time they lured from the outside. Then the first one was at the hole, Mama tried to hold him back, but soon afterwards he could no longer be held. And shortly afterwards - around 12.30 p.m. - the whole gang was outside, everyone could fly easily and with one exception they headed for the same trees. It was good for the bird parents that they didn't have to search the whole area. It's raining cats and dogs at the moment, but maybe it's good for the young birds (we didn't see cats outside today).
May 10th, 2019 (Outside temperature 10°C, continuous rain) DAY 15 Blue tits
They've done it again, too, the blues. Every year we fall for them again and again, the exact Number remains a secret in the first two weeks! Now that the nesting hole is much too small for everyone and they are no longer sitting in it but partly climbing up, we once again noticed that we had miscounted ourselves. They are 9 blue tits and they are incredibly fiddly and above all loud. The cackling goes on all day long and makes kestrels rattle over our house. We hope, they do not fly out too early, it is nevertheless at least 3 that are much smaller than the rest of the loud troops.
The Blue-tits are quite active
May 13th, 2019 (Outside temperature 13°C, sunny) DAY 17 Blue tits
Unfortunately, things didn't go so well for the blue tits today once again. Within a few hours we had to take 4 dead blue tits out of the box, cause unknown. Yesterday evening everyone was very reared, also this morning and then suddenly one of the little ones was lying in the hollow. Shortly afterwards one of them suddenly fell on his back, a short time later the third, in the early evening the fourth.
We can't really explain this, no poison is actually sprayed near our garden, vineyards and fields are a long way away. It reminds a bit of the course of the previous year, here we had some losses in the last days too. Let's hope that the remaining 5 will make it.
The family of the great titmice was today the whole day in the proximity, one of the boys visited us even on the balcony. Here we could not notice any abnormalities, whereby the exact number is of course difficult to determine.
May 20th, 2019 (Outside temperature 14°C, rain)
Update for the last days: Unfortunately we had to bury a 5th blue tits chick last week, which was lying dead in the box in the morning. On this and the following day the remaining blue tits were clearly shocked, much too quiet, partly no longer interested in the food. This changed on the 19th/20th day, when they could be heard from afar again, they had grown considerably and sometimes dared to jump towards the exit hole. On May 17th at noon it was time: Shortly one after the other the two "big ones" flew out, the other two remained sitting quite surprised and spent the following night in the nesting box, but were taken care of by their parents. The next morning, shortly after 8 o'clock after the first feeding, they could no longer be kept. They also left the nesting box wild and could not be seen until now. The young great titmice on the other hand spend most of the day and also the evening in our garden, at the moment the first titmice dumplings are being pecked at, which we have attached shortly before. A great tit began to build a new nest within 2 days at the same time as the blue tit excursion and has already laid three eggs in the meantime, so there will be a second brood here. However, we cannot say with certainty whether it is the mother of the 9 boys, there we can also only speculate. There was a second pair of great titmice in our garden, possibly the brood had not been successful here.
May 30th, 2019 (Outside temperature 19°C, sunny)
The second brood of the Great Tit, again in the nesting box next to the pond, was started on 23 May on a total of 8 eggs. The last days were rather cool and rainy, today it is very sunny again and Mrs. Great Tit sometimes leaves the box for short breaks. The little ones are expected to hatch in about a week.
June 14th, 2019 (Outside temperature 22°C, unstable)
We could also observe during our longer absence that the first Great Tit Boy hatched on 4 June. 2 days later there were still 4 eggs in the box, which means that there were 4 cubs. Meanwhile 5 are visible, the remaining eggs were no longer brooded, which is probably nothing unusual with the second brood.
The chicks are well and their parents feed them diligently. The hollow was also already enlarged, since the young climbed already upward.
June 24th, 2019 (Outside temperature 31°C, sunny)
They have made it, sharp before the expected heat-wave. Exactly on day 21 late morning all five Great-tit, including the late-comer who hatched around 2 days later than their brothers, they left the nesting-box. Temperatures at noon have been quite high and we are considering the relocation of this nesting-box for next year. But in 2019, at least for the Great-tits everything went perfect. The nests were absolutely clean after their departure, even the second, which had been constructed less solid, not as thick as the first (only two days construction time).There have been no losses, contrary to the Blue-tits.
The Blue-tits, as well as the Great-tits from brood no.1 do visit us daily in our garden and balcony. Partly they are still fed by their parents which produces a visible reduction of our feeding-material stock.
We are looking forward to the next season and want to say thank you to all the commentaries of our readers and spectators.