Saturday, 3 March 2007

Terrace enquiries

I am delighted to report that this morning is the second consecutive day that I have seen Blue Tits showing interest at our Terrace Nestbox entrances. It is looking like we could be lucky with this location again. It was a small bird I spotted this morning shortly before I topped up the bird feeders – which returned to its business (pecking at the hole) when I came inside. I wonder if more than Blue Tit could use this box this year.


Which house should I chose, video 0:20 with background music, try 480p quality.


Yesterday lunchtime, shown above, is when I saw the first Blue Tit showing interest in our new, replacement, Nestbox terrace. This box is designed for House Sparrows who are happy to nest in communities – each box being self contained. The Blue Tit shown above is larger than the one that enquired this morning and it was seen chasing off competition yesterday – perhaps unsuccessfully!

Behavioural patterns, shown above, jumping from one entrance to the other was exactly how the Blue Tit behaved last year. I believe the same bird worked on all three nests. I can recall many years ago seeing a documentary on television showing the ability of birds to learn how to get food that was not easy to get at - tests were set up. From memory I believe this programme also reported that birds couldn’t count – they understood one and more than one but if two people went out into a shed and one left they would believe the shed was empty. The Blue Tit may simply not be able to remember which entrance hole he has been through - or perhaps it is wishful thinking on his part and he expects to mate with three females!

The Centre box looks like it could be the favourite of the terrace again. Perhaps the unsuccessful bird might consider a newer detached residence with natural lighting and recording facilities - but I’ll be honest I was hoping for a Great Tit to use this one.


The video, shown above, was taken in my garden on March 2nd 2007.

2 comments:

vandjq said...

Hi Shirl,

I'm off sick at present after a hernia operation, so have had plenty of time to read your blog. We put up a 32mm nestbox last August in the hope of attracting a sparrow or Great Tit. Imagine our surprise in March when a Blue Tit took up residence. We assumed it was the male, but from your description it is probably the female which we see coming and going all the time. Occasionally we see the male, but we haven't yet seen any young ones. When do they start to fly? We have 2 feeders with sunflower hearts, 1 with peanuts and one with fat balls. The tits love them all. My only concern was that a larger bird might try to evict the tit, but it seems a tough little creature. We have also bought a Bill Oddie terrace for house sparrows, which I am going to put up under the eaves in August, after the breeding season ends. From your experience it might not be sparrows who use it! We'll see.

shirl said...

Hi again, vandjq

Firstly I wish you a speedy and good recovery. I am delighted that you have found your way to my blog. You have a good election of food at your feeders which should attract a variety of birds.

We too had put the hole for the Great Tit on our camera Nestbox. In the last week I have seen Great Tit at our nest egg taking material so there is one still building near me. I watched it hopefully - but it didn’t go to our terrace box.

Blue Tits seem to the most frequent users of nestboxes. If birds are going in and out often they are most likely to be adding extra material to cover the eggs or feeding their young now – look at the beak to see if it is holding anything.

When the young are ready to fledge perhaps depends on where you live. I have two very good links on the RH column under the picture of a Nestbox - NestWatch and Elizabeth and Malcolm’s Blue Tit pages. These boxes are in England – Farnham and Surrey. The Surrey birds have fledged and the Farnham ones are still hatching. I am roughly eight days behind Farnham.

All I will say is that you will notice the young if they stay in your garden - we did last year. They will initially stay together at the feeders but unfortunately will hang around long after the other birds sense danger and fly off. There are lots of information on the two links and some great pics and video on NestWatch.

I understand completely your worry over the Blue Tit being evicted and I have read stories. Every time I look in our box at the moment I count the eggs – just in case a Starling beak has been in! I honestly think the other birds are too busy with their own nests and feeding at the moment.

Good luck with your terrace – I did have a thought the other day that even if the birds only use ours to roost I am still glad we put it up.