Friday, 6 June 2008

And then there were three

I am fairly confident now that the the story of our blue tit chicks with single parent is almost over. I would love to be wrong.


The female blue tit has now found a source of some sort of wriggly food for her chicks (not my mini liver mealworms) but I fear it is too late. I think perhaps she knows this too and is giving it to the strongest chick. She is still away too long between feeds.

Usually after a feed the waste product instantly comes out the other end. She waits and watches to remove it but during most feeds now there is nothing to remove. Not a good sign. The chicks then just slide into the nest quietly when she leaves. No chirping now.

I will look in the Nestbox later today but I expect if the chicks don’t survive they could be just left there.

The photos above were taken from my camera nestbox at 7.50am on June 6th 2008.

6 comments:

Mo said...

It just goes to show how hard it is for birds to bring up a family. Especially with Springwatch, we've seen so many that just don't make it. Fingers crossed for the remaining three.

We've got a shortage of blue tits this year for some reason - none visiting the feeders at all. Just coal tits and a couple of great tits.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Oh how sad. This camera can be a blessing or a haunting.

shirl said...

Hi again Mo and Lisa :-)

Mo – Yes, I agree. Surprisingly enough they are still hanging in there tonight. The female just needs to bring in more food this evening for them to survive the night. These 10 min breaks between food deliveries are just too long. I have heard others say they too have had fewer or no blue tits visit their gardens. Many broods didn’t survive last year with the hot April and cold wet May. The coal tits and great tits are lovely to see too. Have a great weekend :-D

Lisa – what can I say? I have been out all day and now back sitting looking in on the chicks. They look slightly stronger than they were this morning but they need good feeds to survive the night. They are chirping once again. I don’t know what the female is doing. Perhaps she thinks there is no rush when there are only three! The picture always looks worse in the morning and that is also usually when the eggs are laid, hatch, chicks fledge and sadly die too. Fingers crossed once again. Have a great weekend :-D

Border Reiver said...

Hi Shirl, Blue Tits are quite resilient so keep the faith and hope they survive. if not, there's still time for another brood, just. Keep us posted.

BTW do you know it's National Moth Night tomorrow?

Barbara said...

I'm still crossing my fingers and hope to read good news in your next post!

shirl said...

Hi again Border & Barbara :-)

Sorry I have been slow to reply to your comments. I appreciate them all. When things are so changeable in the nest I try to wait until there is positive news in my updates and for my comment replies. Then the story changes again

Border – Thank-you, I tried to and in the end they actually started to look like little birds. Unfortunately the last two were dead this morning when I looked in. The story in my blue tit Nestbox looks very similar to the Springwatch one. I hope they survive now. Thanks, I didn’t know it was national Moth week. I meant to go outside but was too busy with a game of bowls! It was my Dad’s 80th birthday the next day and I was busy making him a cake with 80 fondant bowls for the birthday lunch :-D

Barbara - Thank-you! The news did get better with the female finding the mealworms and the chicks opening their eyes. However, unexpectedly they all went very quickly. This morning I wondered what I would see when I looked in the nestbox. The last two chicks were still.