Monday, 24 March 2008

Arch Nestbox 2008

Introducing... Blue tit Nestbox number two which is becoming popular if not a little controversial in my garden. Should it stay or should it go?


Blue tit pair viewing, video 1:42 with bird calls, try 480p quality.


The Nestbox above is situated above the arch at my silver border. It has replaced the terrace Nestbox that was previously sited here. Why did I take the terrace down?

If you are new to the Nestboxes in my garden here is a little update. The very first Nestbox I put up in my garden was a terrace - one long Nestbox with three separate compartments, all with an entrance hole. It was used by a blue tit two years ago who built more than one nest. We replaced it with another the same as the first had water damage.


No, I don't want wood shavings, video 1:46 with background bird chatter, try 480p quality.


Recently this new terrace saw much activity with a new blue tit visiting the garden. It was seen removing the wood shavings at great speed from not one but two of the compartments! We decided to help it by removing the rest and had intended putting it back up until we saw why it left one compartment alone - you can see below. As the house sparrows have shown no interest in this box and blue tits are not likely to nest together I decided to spare one poor blue tit the trouble of building two nests – which it would.




Unfortunately with one thing and another it was two weekends before we put up a replacement single box. In this time span the new visiting blue tit moved on. I did wonder if we were too late putting it up ten days ago. However, within just two days it did get a pair visiting showing a great deal of interest! Great news – or is it?

The sting here is that this is 'the daytime pair' that had been visiting my Nestbox that has a camera in it! Oh… what to do now. I watched them go occasionally to the camera Nestbox but more visits were going to this new one above the arch. I thought about this long and hard. I would still be able to at least see them go in and out of the box without a camera. We had a rooster in the camera Nestbox perhaps it would build a nest too?




After much deliberation I decided to block the entrance to the new box to encourage the pair back to the camera box. They were somewhat confused to say the least - trying to see past my tube of cardboard. I felt a pang of guilt with this but as I could share this nesting experience in my Nestbox that had a camera I chose this route.

What happened next? Well this pair of blue tits snubbed my garden completely! They still took food from the feeders but took it away to eat it – they usually stayed and ate near the feeders on branches of trees etc. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was now. I did nothing for four days. Then I took the tube out of the new Nestbox with the thought that they may come back to it - if they would not come near the one with the camera.

Unbelievable less than 15 minutes after the Arch Nestbox was opened up again this same pair were back in it again. I have to say I was so glad to see them again. Okay I would much rather they used my box with a camera but this way at least we could see nesting albeit from the outside of Nestbox. They are back visiting the garden feeders together again and sitting on branches eating the food from them. All is back almost as it was. But what has been going on in my camera Nestbox...


All photos and videos above were taken in my garden during March 2008.

12 comments:

Frances, said...

Shirl that is a fantastic story. And funny too, they wanted to use the new box, that's all there was to it. I wonder how long they would have waited for you to remove the cardboard. You did the right thing, let them nest where they want. Maybe the other visitors will build a nest in the camera box and all will be well. Good luck and thanks for sharing this story.
Frances at Faire Garden

easygardener said...

Very amusing. I think the word's out in bird world that you've got a camera in the other box. Those birds must have something to hide.

garden girl said...

nature just isn't always very cooperative, is it! Maybe they're a little shy about having a camera in their bedroom!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I think you did the right thing. Let the poor little dears use the box of choice. They will be more successful that way. This is what you really want anyway, successful nesting.

Jane said...

Funny little birds. They know what they want! and they don't want YOU watching them... Can't get over how posh your boxes are. Love the terrace one as well. I was thinking of getting one like that. I think we have bluetits in our box but no camera in it.

shirl said...

Hi there Frances, Lisa, Easygardener, Garden girl, Lisa and Jane :-)

Frances – Yes, I do enjoy telling a story. Yep, I think my timing was close in removing the cardboard. Their visits to my garden were becoming less frequent. They may yet be looking at another garden to nest in! Mm… don’t know how to call the outcome at the moment. However it is fascinating whatever happens :-D

Easygardener – Yes it is. However, it would more amusing to see a nest being built! You have no idea how many colour samples come in and out the box!! Yes, the word could be out about the camera – but are there no blue tits interested in being international stars :-D

Garden girl – Yes, nature is without a doubt fascinating! Mm.. don’t they know I have no infra red :-D

Lisa – Yep, I think so too otherwise I would have completely missed nesting too. I wonder though if they will discover that the Camera Nestbox will be both warmer and quieter. Yes, I do wish this pair a successful brood – wherever they build their nest :-D

Jane – They are amusing! The female is tiny too when you see her outside the Nestbox. I suspect we have a first time Mum again. Mm… they are just too fussy for their own good! I never thought of my nestboxes being posh before. However the Arch Nestbox was chosen for its roof – hoping it will keep the rain out of the box. If you do buy a terrace I would advise you to get the type that has only one entrance at the front with the other two at the ends otherwise the one bird may well build in all three compartments as it did with ours. Fingers crossed for a successful brood for your box too :-D

Mike @ Fenphotography said...

Definately did the right thing here Shirl, best they use the new box than go somewhere else. Think we have a pair nesting in my nest box I will have to have a go at filming them. Mike.

shirl said...

Hi again Mike :-)

Yes, I think so too.
When their visits to my garden feeders dropped I knew time was running out for the nestboxes in my garden. If they do use the arch Nestbox I can still watch them from my kitchen window and I will have a rough idea of what they are up to inside too :-D

I would definitely have a go at filming your Nestbox as it is a great way to see what stage the nest could be at. You will also get a rough idea by the numbers of visits per hour :-D

The Black Rabbit said...

Blimey Shirl!
Its more complicated than our situation!

I've given up on our pair of Blue Tits.
They've chosen to nest over the road, the little Judases!

So.... I've put a sign on our feeder saying "No Blue Tits allowed" (not that they take any notice!)

shirl said...

Hi again Doug - love that photo at the feeder!

Ah… stories to tell from all gardens with nestboxes at the moment. Will they or won’t they? A waiting game :-D

Doug, these blue tits are just playing with you! Perhaps a few more signs about the garden would do the trick – advertising the desirable accommodation you have to offer. Maybe they are just testing out the other box and will return – slim chance perhaps :-D

the 2 wrennies said...

what a dilemma ! still it looks like there is still a good chance - but perhaps the scales could be tipped in your favour - rather than block off the arch nestbox hole how about putting some wood shavings in there ? then they might roost in there and use the camera box to nest in ? tricky isn't it...
lovely site by the way, you tell a good story too !

shirl said...

Hi there Martin & Sarah, delighted to see that you have a blue tit building a nest this year :-)

Yes, I have just gone on my instincts with this one. I am happy now for the birds to choose - which everyway it goes! I will see nesting in some form and that’s the good part. Hopefully I will also see chicks fledge into the garden this time too. So, fingers crossed :-D

Good idea about encouraging roosting, however after a suggestion by another that parasites could be in the shavings which could harm the young chicks I won’t interfere with the outcome now.

Thank-you for your comments, Ah… I’ve always got a few stories to tell… :-D