Nesting-Box Diary 2017

March 05th, 2017 (Outside temperature 6°C, overcast)

The new season obviously seems to start soon. Maybe the low temperatures at night have led to little to no building and courtship display. But since a couple of days one can see activities in bringing first nesting material in to the box at our balcony. It is a Blue-tit, sometimes even showing up with the partner. The camera-system has been upgraded this year, so we do expect better picture quality. Also from this year on, all nestingboxes carry a camera system.

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March 10th, 2017 (Outside Temperature 10°C, clear)

Two nesting-boxes are occupied nightly now. At the balcony the nestbuilding definitely has started, whereas at the bedroom it is not yet clear whether this is going to be a nest also or the Male has build himself a soft bed for himself only. For sure both boxes are used by Blue-tits.

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March 12th, 2017 (Outside Temperature 12°C, sunny)

Small update of what happened so far. Our sleeping guest from the box next to the pond, which had inhabited the box since the end of October (Great-tit) has left us, even her partner no longer can be heard.

The Blue-tit is very smart this year and occupies two boxes, in the nesting box on the balcony the nest is almost finished, in the lower box next to the bedroom only little grass and moss has been brought. Here at night the husband probably is sleeping. During the day, especially the upper box is defended violently against all possible rivals and not left out of sight.

This morning, however, a prospective client for the nesting-box at the pond showed up again, a Great-tit inspected the localities.

Since we are so curious, who will breed where. In 2016, there were two Great-tits and a Blue-tit brood.

March 18th, 2017 (Outside Temperature 10°C, rain)

The Great-tits start to hurry building a nest in the old box next to the pond. It is also knocked and hammered, only moss is used as nesting material. This year, the family Blue has quite a turmoil, does not look very comfortable, because a lot of dried up grass has been used.

Box No. 3 continues to be used by the Blue-tit male as his sleeping space.

March 25th, 2017 (Outside Temperature 10°C, sunny)

Today Ms Great-tit hat slept overnight the first time. So we now have three sleeping-tits all together, Mr Blue, Ms Blue and Ms Great-tit. We should at least have two breeds. We will see.

March 29th, 2017 (Outside Temperature 15°C, sunny)

Today already in the morning busy twittering could be heard in the garden. Ms Blue-tit jumped from tree to tree and was looking for her husband. Looking into the nesting-box it was obvious: The first egg had been laid. Now interior design had to be finished.

So it scores 1:0 for the Blue-tits

March 30th, 2017 (Outside Temperature 17°C, sunny)

The second egg has been laid in the Blue-tit nesting-box at about 8:00 o'clock in the morning. And it has been covered and hidden almost completely. But also Ms Great-tit was busy. She also laid her first egg today. Ms Great-tit, by the way uses yellow decorating material this year.

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April 7th, 2017 (Outside-temperature 18°C, sunny)

The Blue laid egg # 10 and started breeding.

April 10th, 2017 (Outside-temperature 20°C, sunny)

Ms Blue-tit laid two more eggs since yesterday, in total she's now breeding on 12 eggs. Ms Great-tit today started breeding on a total of 10 eggs.

April 20th, 2017 (Outside-temperature 10°C, sunny)

We have been on vacation and could only watch via webcam. The Great-tits had five chicks hatched in the morning and a bit later the Blue-tits had two chicks hatched.

April 21st, 2017

Today still three eggs were visible in the nest of the Blue-tits. The Great-tits may have about ten chicks until now. In the beginning it always is hard to estimate.

April 23rd, 2017

One egg can still be seen below in the nest of the Blue-tits. We guess in both nests there are now ten chicks. All of them seem to be happy, although the last days, specifically during the night have had quite low temperatures.

May 4th, 2017 (Outside-temperature 15°C, unstable)

We are back home and can hear the young tits easily. Especially during the afternoon both couples do feed with high frequency.

May 6th, 2017 (Outside-temperature 20°C, unstable)

For the Great-tits as well as the Blue-tits we count 9 hatchlings, two of each are a bit smaller. They all seem quite active, are fed very frequently and even climb out of the nest already. Testflights we have not seen so far.

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May 7th, 2017 (Outside-temperature 11°C, rainy)

In the Great-tits nest this morning there was a dead chick, seems to be one of the smaller ones. The rest seems to be as normal as usual. Nothing special also with the Blue-tits. We assume they will leave the nest beginning or mid of next week.

May 9th, 2017 (Outside-temperature 11°C, overcast)

Today has been the big day of the Great-tit, it could not have been better concerning the weather. At least the heavy rain of yesterday, the parents really had to exhaust themselves, the chicks had not to overcome outside.

Shortly after 8 o'clock five of the chicks flew out, one after the other. The time after, the three other kept themselves busy alone. One tried to get to the exit-hole with some tendency to the right side and it somewhen got exhausted. The other only were astouned by it. Great-tit daddy came feeding the chicks quite often, whereas Great-tit mum did the outside supply. At about 11:15am finally No.6, without prewarning also flew out, sat a moment in the jasmine bush and disappeared, to follow the sounds of the rest. At about 12:45pm No 7 followed, it waited until the late afternoon, before it sat on a wall in front of the nesting-box, quite agitated, because it even was not able to fly. It soon became apparent that it had breathing problems, it sat with its eyes closed and made a very exhausted impression. We then put it back into the nesting-box in the evening, since it was also supplied with food by the parents. Unfortunately, it did not survive the night.

May 10th, 2017 (Outside-temperature 14°C, sunny)

Today was to be the great day of the Blue-tits, but it ended quite sadly. After a long back and forth, No. 1 hung at the exit hole at about five o'clock, the mother wanted to push him back, but there was no holding. An hour later four more were fled, we immediately noticed that they were exceptionally small for their age. Through the glimpse of the camera, we could see that a nest hook hardly caught food, because it did not come out of the nest hole, it seemed to hang tightly. We therefore opened the box (which we generally do not do) and had to cut out the small one from the nest, because it was actually caught in the nest material with one leg. After 2 hours two more tufts had flown out, but the little one still hung tightly. We freed it again and brought it into the house to examine it more closely. We noticed that the leg was spread apart and it could neither stand nor fly. Otherwise he / she made a cheerful impression. At night, the young chick was again taken to the other one, and the mother came to feed it in the morning. Blue-tit No. 8 also followed the mother at 8:30 am. After consultation with the emergency aid for wild birds we brought the small to the veterinarian, who had to put it to sleep, because the foot was dead. An amputee would probably have been no solution for the busy blue-tit.

Unfortunately, we have never experienced such a thing in the many years that we hang up nesting aids. This is the reason why the nesthook of the Great-tit and the Blue-tits did not survive this year. We wish the siblings a mastered life outside, and for them a particularly dangerous time is now beginning.

In our semi hollow nest the Redstart feed already for about a week, we hope for a better end!

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