Nesting-Box Diary 2021

January 13th, 2021 (Outside temperature 0°C)

The camera at the balcony needs to be replaced, due to a defect. At the bedroom no breeding activity has been seen so far, therefore we use that camera for replacement, until we have a new one.

March 07th, 2021 (Outside temperature 4°C, sunny)

After a week with spring-like temperatures, it has become cold again, this morning of all things, Mrs. Blue Tit has once again begun to carry nesting material into the box (balcony). However, for days predominantly in the morning hours diligent knocking is to be heard, one could think, it is to be hammered a second outlet hole.

Also Mrs. Great Tit, which inhabits the box at the pond at night since October 2020, is repairing, this box is thoroughly cleaned daily, everything really very exemplary.

As it looks, the nesting box at the bedroom will probably remain empty again, it is really inexplicable to us, since in our opinion it has the best location. Especially in the warm season it is much better protected from the sunlight by the balcony above. But the tits decide it themselves.....


March 22nd, 2021 (Outside temperature 6°C, sunny)

The blue tits have worked diligently in recent days despite the renewed cold snap to complete a nest. In the meantime, more and more moss is being carried into the box or replaced again. Also the scaring away of potential rivals at the feeding place has already begun, the long-tail tits suffer particularly from it. However, we will soon reduce or stop feeding anyway as temperatures rise.

The great tit family, our permanent tenants of the pond nest box, has also been knocking for several days, and this morning they started to deliver material in the form of small twigs and roots.

We also have a new applicant for the wryneck nest box. After the garden dormouse seems to have moved out and the great tits were very interested in the new dwelling, a pair of starlings is now showing up more often during the day, and they have already inspected the box and the surrounding area very thoroughly.

We are very curious to see who will lay the 1st egg this year.

April 03rd, 2021 (Outside temperature 8°C, sunny)

And the winners are: Our falcons!!!!!! If the titmice have not already hidden eggs in the finished nests, the kestrels in St. Barbara's Church are clearly the winners this year, despite the construction work on the church tower.

The starlings have also apparently decided to breed in the nest box in the hedge, they still carry material into the box daily, it must be filled to the top by now.

Our half-cave is still unoccupied, the redstarts have not yet appeared, but they usually come when the great tits have finished breeding. We let ourselves be surprised.

Thank you very much for the hints from Uschi Kolbeck.

April 05th, 2021 (Outside temperature 0°C, snowfall)

Our Blue-titmice hurried up yet and did lay an egg yesterday as well as this morning. As it cooled down during the day both eggs have been covered and hidden later.

April 12th, 2021 (Outside temperature 7°C, unstable)

The great tits had once again "secretly" laid eggs and carefully hidden. Here yesterday the brood was started with 10 eggs. With the blue tits we see 8 eggs in the nest, but they are carefully covered during the day, it is again very cool, apparently they decided to wait with the brood.

April 13th, 2021 (Outside temperature 8°C, sunny)

The blue tits have now also started breeding, probably with 8 eggs.

4 different species (blue tit, great tit and starling in the nesting boxes) , as well as a pair of blackbirds in the cherry laurel are breeding at our premises this year. The semi cave nesting box below the garage is still unoccupied, but it has been extensively visited by two female redstarts for a few days, we have not yet seen a male (Pedro, the little Spaniard is still missing).

April 17th, 2021 (Outside temperature 8°C, sunny)

There are already 11 eggs in the nest of the blue tits, but Madame has not really started with the brood yet. She looks in from time to time and always brings a bit of feathers and hair, but then she disappears again together with her partner. In contrast to Mrs. Great Tit, which leaves the nest only from time to time for a short time. However, we have experienced it similarly most of the time in the past years.


April 25th, 2021 (Outside temperature 15°C, sunny)

This morning at 6 o'clock it had already happened, at least 6 small great tits lie in the nest and are also already fed by the parents.

With the blackbirds is also already fed diligently, also with the starlings is the offspring apparently already there. The female redstarts are more often on site, apparently also here a nest is ready, a suitable male to it we have not yet seen.

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May 01st, 2021 (Outside temperature 10°C, unstable)

Now the little blue tits have hatched, but the mom hardly leaves the nest because of the still low temperatures. We estimate at least 8, but also with the great tits we are not yet sure about the exact number.

May 10th, 2021 (Outside temperature 27°C, unstable)

Unfortunately, we had to lament some losses after the last cold nights, from formerly 8 little great tits only 5 remained in the nest (yesterday there were still 6). It can not be due to lack of food, the parents are constantly feeding caterpillars and other insects. The young birds already have a relatively dense plumage and can be heard well.

The starling family moved out at the weekend, unfortunately we could not be there. We will check the box soon and clear and clean it for possible new tenants.

Our problem children of the last 3 years, the blue tits are doing quite well so far. All 10 are doing well and seem to be well cared for. They are 9 days old today and some of them are already outside the nesting box.

May 11th, 2021 (Outside temperature 17°C, cloudy, rainy)

After a new or the old pair of starlings had taken a conspicuous interest in the empty nest box this morning, we had decided at short notice to clean it. This was a good decision, the box was - to put it kindly - in a somewhat untidy state, both inside and out. In addition, various worms and flies had already made their appearance. Since the starlings almost watched us at work and flew back into the box already 10 minutes later, it remained a quick cleaning action, but the nest was also removed. We are curious how and if it will continue.


May 16th, 2021 (Outside temperature 15°C, unstable) Day 21 of the Great tits

Whoosh and gone - this morning shortly before 8 o'clock it then happened, the young great tits have simply flown out one after the other. Yesterday they had cleaned themselves extensively and moved a bit the wings, but hardly one hung on the exit to inspect the world outside. So far we were used to it after many years with the young titmice, but this time everything is just different again. However, the tit parents were also a bit surprised, Mr. Great-tit stared somewhat stunned with a worm in his beak at the empty nest box and we tried to take at least a few snapshots of the tit babies. But they were on their way down pretty quickly, two of them then flew onto a house roof in the nearby "Bergstraße", where they called pitifully for their parents. This in turn then alerted some birds of prey, within a very short time 2 kestrels, 3 buzzards and 4 red kites were circling over our neighborhood. The titmice disappeared after a few minutes together with their parents in the safe bushes. We hope it all turns out well and expect them on our balcony in a few days.

The Black Redstarts now have a little more peace after the neighbors moved out, they were already slightly stressed by the great tits, that has never been a close friendship. The blue tits will stay in the box for about 1 more week and the starlings seem to have started their 2nd brood (if Mrs. Starling is happy with the new setup).

May 18th, 2021 (Outside temperature 13°C, continuous rain, thunderstorm) Day 17 of the Blue tits

Our "Blues" are pretty wild and loud, they want to get out. Actually, it's still too early, especially because of the bad weather. But the noise level is enormous, only the thunderstorm in the afternoon silenced the screaming a bit. We are curious whether mother blue sleeps tonight together with her young ones, it probably depends on the weather. By the way, there are still 9, a record of the last years, we had some losses, especially in the last week. Fingers crossed!

May 21st, 2021 (Outside temperature 15°C, cloudy) Day 20 of the Blue tits

It's time for the young blues, they sit partly on top of each other and annoy each other. However, it is currently quite windy outside and therefore animate the tit parents not to fly out. There are still 8 of them, one young one we had to take out of the nest box the day before yesterday. The tit mother had already spent the last two nights outside the box, also a sign that the flight is imminent.

By the way, the great tits are very close by, you can hear their excited chirping, moreover, the parents like to help themselves to the bowl of buffalos.

With the house redstarts is also fed at high speed, yesterday we also discovered a "secret" nest in our hedge in the front garden, here apparently warblers had nested right next to the blackbirds, we heard and saw only briefly the last young at the outing.

May 22nd, 2021 (Outside temperature 18°C, sunny, windy) Day 21 of the Blue tits

They went out, it took just 10 minutes. From 13.30 - 13.40 one after the other hopped into the neighboring bushes. It was dizzying to watch with wind gusts of 60 km/h. The excursion was nevertheless very successful, because all had disappeared in the same direction, we had experienced that also differently. At the moment nothing is to be heard, also the great tits stay further away, these were however already several times again to visit in the garden.


May 30th, 2021 (Outside temperature 18°C, sunny)

Life goes on - despite the sad News around the kestrels of Ellmendingen, we can report about the decision of the Great-tits for a second brood this year. Already beginning May 24th, the nestbuilding started and since this morning the third egg is visible.

June 06th, 2021 (Outside temperature 18°C, rainy)

We are quite surprised, Ms. Great-tit really breeds on 7 eggs again. That's a bit unusual for a second brood. The redstart in the meantime have left with unknown destination.

June 14th, 2021 (Outside temperature 28°C, sunny)

Since today noon 4 small great tits lay in the nest, in the afternoon then No. 5 was hatched, 2 eggs are not yet hatched. By chance we saw yesterday that next door also the house redstarts dare another brood. Let's see if the two families get along better this time.

June 16th, 2021 (Outside temperature 30°C, sunny)

Now even the last of the seven chicks has hatched. The Mum leaves them alone as she keeps herself busy in getting food for the little ones. The father probably is taking his time for the first brood.

June 19th, 2021 (Outside temperature 30°C, hot)

Unfortunately, this brood is also not under a good star, yesterday we already had to take one of 7 chicks from the box, which lay dead in the corner for a day. This is a rather unusual behavior of tits, we do not know so, usually dead young are removed from the box by the mother. Then this morning only 2 young lay in the nest box, the others were either hidden in the nest or carried out. Buffalo worms offered by us seem to be consumed by the mother herself and not fed to the young. We think the two young have no chance of surviving this way. Apparently these extreme temperatures are very difficult for the bird parents, as too little food is provided by them. We therefore also close this live transmission from the titmice box.

June 25th, 2021 (Outside temperature 16°C, rain)

One has fought, it's really incredible. We have a Kevin again, who is now of course mostly alone at home. He has somehow made it, although in our opinion is still fed too little, but apparently it was enough. In the last two days also the father titmouse is sometimes to be seen and the mother warms the little one in between still, the plumage is also not yet to be seen continuously. Kevin is unusually quiet, but can be heard from time to time. Unfortunately, the tit parents do not communicate much, we do not know that at all. Please keep your fingers crossed that he will make it. Of course we don't know now, which age he has, but we can only assume that he belongs to the first hatched, then he would be 12 days old now.

'Kevin' and his parents

July 01st, 2021 (Outside temperature 17°C, cloudy)

The temperatures have been a little more bearable the last few days and Kevin is starting to look like a real tit child. The plumage is growing and you can hear him well now. It is also fed more often by the parents, the dad lets himself be seen more often. You might think he was busy with another family or still taking care of the young of the first brood. Please keep your fingers crossed, maybe all will be well for the last remaining one.

'Kevin' and his mum, a final time

July 03rd, 2021 (Outside temperature 20°C, sunny)

Kevin did some real flying exercises this morning and took this opportunity to clean the dirty camera lens. Relatively quickly he then hung at the exit and looked into the big, wide world. The sight had not pleased him then apparently so, afterwards he sat rather speechlessly in his nest hollow with the back to the hole. The mummy came then, however, and cleaned him extensively.

And around 14.30 o'clock it was then happened. Once up - and gone. Unfortunately we only saw him from behind. He disappeared somewhere in the bushes and we are very curious whether we will see him again in the garden in the next few days. All the best for a long tit life, Kevin!

Next door, by the way, there are again with the 2nd brood small house redstarts, which will remain in the box for about 1 more week. Perfect timing, for mid-July craftsmen have registered with us.