Nesting-Box Diary 2023

March 19th, 2023 (Outside temperature 13°C, overcast)

This year it's going to be exciting, we have a surplus of breeding great tits here and it currently looks like the blue tits are getting the short end of the stick.

For several months we have had mostly two, sometimes three roosting (great) tits in the nest boxes on the balcony, pond and bedroom. A solar-powered box we installed in the front yard last year, which also has a camera, is also occupied by a great tit. We could observe already smaller fights in the nesting boxes, which went out however always smoothly.

Then this morning there was all at once in the pond box (traditionally reserved for almost 10 years by the great tits) hectic activity, already at noon a large amount of moss had been brought in.

In the case of the starlings (wryneck box) there has also been great building activity for several weeks, first the material brought in by the dormouse was removed and since the day before yesterday new grass and smaller twigs have been increasingly brought in. We also have the impression that one, two or three starlings spend the night in the box. In any case, there is always vigorous mating in the morning hours.

March 23rd, 2023 (Outside temperature 23°C, rainy)

Since yesterday Mrs. Blue is building a nest in the balcony box a bit hesitantly, this was her regular place for many years, especially since it is close to the winter feeding. She always brings dried grass, which will probably be removed in the next few days anyway. In front of the box, however, there are always minor disputes with a great tit, which apparently does not want to give up the (sleeping) place so easily. We are curious to see who will prevail, as the blue tits have always been very dominant in previous years.


March 28th, 2023 (Outside temperature 5°C, sunny)

Tonight there was frost again and Mrs. Great Tit (from the pond box) laid her 1st egg. The nest of the blue tits is also ready, as well as that of the great tits in the front garden. In addition, it seems that the bedroom box is now occupied, although it is located exactly below the balcony box, only one floor below.

April 4th, 2023 (Outside temperature -1°C, frost)

It almost looks like the great tit in the pond nesting box is starting to breed, or possibly the 8 eggs so far are only to be protected in the low temperatures.


April 5th, 2023 (Outside temperature -1°C, sunny)

The blue tit has now also laid its 1st egg, with the great tits it has remained with the 8 eggs, the titmouse now seems to actually begin with the brood. In the 3rd nest (also great tits, next to our bedroom) are also already 2 (hidden) eggs to see.


April 17th, 2023 (Outside temperature 10°C, rainy)

The great tit family is in a particular hurry this year, this afternoon you can already see at least 7 chicks in the nesting hole. Then we can only hope that the weather will be a little better in the next few days.

In the other boxes is also busy breeding, unfortunately we have for several days a failure of the camera at the blue tits on our balcony.

April 21st, 2023 (Outside temperature 10°C, sunny)

The nights are still very cold at the moment, unfortunately we see only three young in the nest of the great tits (pond nest box). The hatching seems to have been too early, probably there are not enough caterpillars and other insects. The starlings are already feeding, in the other titmouse boxes the eggs are still visible, they are busy incubating.

April 24th, 2023 (Outside temperature 10°C, rainy, windy)

The trio in the pond nest box is well cared for in our opinion. Both parents are feeding, so slowly the first fluff is showing. The mother has been in the box a lot in the last few days and has been hooting, the nest hollow looks huge with only three young in it. Unfortunately we don't know what happened to the others, we can only assume that it was too cold. In the other titmouse boxes they are still breeding. The starling family is already very noisy in the box, and the blackbirds are also eagerly looking for food in the meadow.

April 25st, 2023 (Outside temperature 10°C, rainy)

After 9 eggs were still visible in the great tit box next to our bedroom yesterday evening, this morning we can observe that several little great tits are freeing themselves from the eggs. Of all things in this unusual weather. Now we have to keep our fingers crossed that everything will turn out well. The 3 remaining great tits from the pond nesting box are doing well so far, as far as we can judge from the outside.

April 26th, 2023 (Outside temperature 12°C, sunny)

This year is not going well from the bird breeding point of view. After the Great's in the pond box had already bigger losses (8 eggs, at the moment 3 young), we found out that the blue tits have given up their clutch. The camera for this box has not been in operation for a long time, the pair is currently trying to occupy a cavity in our roof, has already brought nesting material there several times (but does not look good in terms of space).

Also from the starlings there is no good news, yesterday evening was still fed diligently, this morning was then nothing more to hear. We then unfortunately found 4 dead starling chicks, it is inexplicable to us what brought about this sudden death. The night was again quite cold, but that should not be the sole cause. They were about 10 days old, we have now taken them out of the box, but left the nest as it is for now. Maybe there will be a second brood.

The fact is that the birds have all brooded a little earlier than in previous years. With the exception of the tits, which had moved into the new box in the front garden, here Ms. Great Tit is now breeding on 10 eggs.

April 29th, 2023 (Outside temperature 12°C, changing between cloudy and sunny)

Unfortunately the chick dying continues. From probably 7 hatched young are also here only 4 left, but they seem very lively. Unfortunately we can do nothing about it, it is regularly fed by the bird parents and the dead young were also removed from the box by them.

A new pair of starlings are currently back in the hedge clearing nesting material from the larger box, there may be a second brood here.

Meanwhile, a bumblebee has moved into the original blue tit box (balcony).

May 05th, 2023 (Outside temperature 20°C, cloudy)

The three pond great tits have grown incredibly and until recently were still closed in the nesting hollow, we can not remember seeing such "well-behaved" chicks. But since two days it is also warmer and the urge to go up can be clearly observed. They are cleaning eagerly and we could already see flight exercises. We assume it won't be long until they fly out (today would be day 18).

In contrast, the four 'Greats' around the corner are a wild gang and are already hanging around in the "upper floor". However, they still have at least one good week for the big trip........

At the moment we are observing with the spotting scope the two white storks on the roof of the Barbara church, which seem to have really decided to breed now. This would be a small sensation for our village.

This afternoon there was a heavy thunderstorm with a lot of rain, so all tit mothers were with their children in the box.

May 07th, 2023 (Outside temperature 20°C, cloudy, thunderstorm mood)

Our trio has flown out, secretly quietly, sometime between 8 and 9 o'clock in the morning. They were totally unexcited and before still sat as well-behaved as always in their nest, without peeking even once through the hole. And at some point they were gone, the whole family, you do not hear them even in the garden.

May 16th, 2023 (Outside temperature 13°C, heavy clouds, partly rain)

The 4 from the bedroom nest box have chosen a rather uncomfortable day, rain early in the morning, cloudy all day and in between also a bit windy. But they were quite excited, Ms. great tit lured with a completely new variant by knocking quite energetically with the beak on the roof of the box. Around 11 o'clock it happened, the first one flew directly into a bush next to our garden and protested quite loudly, which in turn enticed the second one to do the same. The other two then took a good hour to follow the others. They were 21 days old, they all were able to fly, we had already observed this quite differently in the past years.