Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Chick flicks – last day with nestbox family of 2010

STARRING: 2 attentive Blue tit parents and 6 Blue tit chicks. DURATION OF MOVIE: 4 minutes. RATING: VCI – very cute indeed. STORY OUTLINE: Successful Blue tit family prior to fledging from garden nest box. Previously unseen nestbox footage :-)

Are you hearing tapping from inside your nestbox just now? It may be possible parents viewing your box and tapping their beaks on the inside wall and floor. Having seen them do this in ours my guess is that they are checking how solid the nestbox is and with different types of wood the sound will vary. It’s a good sound to be hearing showing the birds are considering your box. However, they will consider a few boxes (even building in more than one) before deciding.

For anyone with a nestbox/considering putting up a nestbox just now the video below shows a short spell of what goes on inside a nestbox on the day before fledging. It’s not too late to put up a nestbox for this year and I would absolutely encourage every garden to have a nestbox in it.

Regular blog visitors will remember my 2010 Nestbox Diary posts with photos and video from nest building through egg laying and hatching. If you are new to nestboxes you might find this interesting to see.

For those interested in surveys and supporting nesting birds, the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) are trying to encourage people to take part in their Nest Box Challenge to help them learn more about UK nesting birds.

Okay… that’s the adverts over… it’s time for the film… and yes there are 6 chicks although you might need to look closely for the 6th…



There is no background music with this video but you might want volume.
You can hear the chicks chirping (probably calling to parents).
Chicks are heard knocking the walls and wind noise is heard at entrance.
You can also select higher quality with the option on the RHS.


This day was a very special one for us as we watched (practically the whole day, fortunately a weekend) in anticipation of eight chicks leaving our Nestcam box and going out into the big wide world outside. Being truthful, we were a tad nervous for them! The next morning we found our nestbox empty.

After the sadness of viewing two failed nestbox families over the previous two years this was a wonderful (privileged) moment that I am thrilled to be able to share. It’s a great record for us too and I’ve more to come… next time we’ll have the exercise video :-)

Have you seen any signs of nesting/nestbox activity in your garden? In my garden, a female blackbird was spotted collecting nesting material a few days ago and a male Blackbird seen chasing her away. Guessing the fight for territories is on.


This post was written by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in March 2012. The video footage shown above was taken from my nestbox on June 12th 2010 (day 20 from the first chick hatching).

8 comments:

Crystal said...

That video was amazing, and a happy ending too. I had a successful box last year, even though the chicks decided to leave in a gale force wind.
The blue tits are back again this year, and are already going inside the box every morning. Don't usually see this much activity so early in the year.
Not seen any nest building yet, apart from two magpies that is.

Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

We just popped up a new nest box cam with a better quality camera than last year. It's in exactly the same location so we may be lucky and h=get visitors this year - last year someone moved in within days on it being set up.

Midmarsh John said...

Hope you are able to see some nesting activity soon.
Having read your post I switched on the feed from my camera nest box and within a minute I saw a Great Tit inspecting it. Only time will tell whether it chooses the box to nest in.

Alberto said...

I have so enjoyed this post of yours! I love blue tit and I've seen they are supposed to live in Italy as well, but I've never seen one in my entire life around here, they seem pretty popular in UK though. I'm going to build a bird box too asap! ;)

ShySongbird said...

Lovely to take another look at your video. What attentive and accomplished parents they were! I hope you have some successful tenants this year Shirl.

I have had a Blackbird singing in the front garden every evening at dusk since late December so that one was obviously staking its territory good and early :)

Joe said...

Hi Shirl,

Its been ages since I commented here or even did anything on my own blog but I'm happy to be back again now :)

It is brilliant how you were able to finally see a family successfully fledge the nest after a couple of years of nesting failures. Have you had any activity in your camera nest box this year yet? The best we have had (from what I have seen), has been a great tit on the hole of our camera nest box yesterday, but nothing more than that. And with this hot weather, I fear that most blue and great tits will have already started building a nest elsewhere. Hopefully things will change, but time is running out for us here in the south, as they do start nesting a bit earlier here apparently.

The Garden On Loch Ness said...

The VCI rating was spot on :) Just adorable.

shirl said...

Hello again everyone, sorry for late replies the good weather we’ve had has kept me away from the PC :-)

Crystal, it was quite special this video. Delighted to hear of your successful box too. Good luck with this year’s box. We’ve a rooster in ours at the moment but that doesn’t mean that this bird will build a nest in our box. It’s fascinating to follow isn’t it :-)

Sue, great to hear about your box. Good luck for your box too :-D

John, ah what luck in timing John! Great to hear you have had continued interest in your box and the hogs are back to entertain you in the evenings too :-D

Alberto, brilliant! That’s exactly why I posted this video at this time hoping more boxes will get put up in gardens – good luck with yours :-D

Jan, ah… this is previously unseen footage here Jan! I shared still pics at the time (which you will be remembering) and then had tech issues after and was unable to make videos. I’ve more footage I might share another time. They were great parents and the caterpillars being available seemed to have been the key to this successful family. Ah… I love to hear the Blackbirds too. Guessing you’ll have nests already built now. Saw a female blackbird picking up muddy, wet leaves today so nest building in process here with blackbirds just now. A great time of year isn’t it :-D

Joe, hello there!! I see you’ve been catching up with posts good style :-D Just caught some on my phone so will be over for a bigger look soon - BTW watching live a hog feeding in my hedgehog feeding station as I type this :-) Yes, I have a rooster at the moment. Yes, you are earlier than us in nesting but I don’t think it’s too late for you yet – good luck with your box :-)

Loch Ness, it was spot on at that time… but there’s more to add to this story… the cute description changed – updates soon.