Our Nature Scrapbook

Tuesday 3rd May 2011

The female is still turning and incubating her eggs leaving the nest for short periods that seem to be at least once every hour. The male is very confused when he brings food back to the nest for her to find her missing.

He is also spending lots of time visiting to preen his mate - maybe this again is a bonding ritual.




Hovering over the above links will reveal additional links to help you navigate around the pages.

Nature Web

Return to top of page

May 2011
The female is incubating and turning the eggs
May Day Bank Holiday
The female is incubating and turning the eggs
Two more chicks die and are removed from the nest
The female is incubating and turning the eggs
Remaining chicks are feathering well
The female is incubating and turning the eggs
Lots of wind stretching and preening
The first three chicks have hatched
Lots of wind stretching and preening
Another three chicks hatched and the parents are busy feeding.
First chick peeps outside
All eggs seem to be hatched
Victoria Day (Scot.)
Parents are busy feeding the gaping chick
Another chick dies  - it was bullied by bigger siblings
Chicks are becoming more active
Three remaining chicks have fledged
The chicks are now covering in downy feathers
Chicks wings are starting to develop
Chicks can see and leave the nest cup more frequently
Spring Bank Holiday
Chicks growing quickly and very active
One chick died and was taken from the nest

List of visits to Nest Box Cam in May

Thursday 5th May 2011

We noticed that the female was shuffling about on her nest more than usual and seemed to be trying to look under her feathers. When she moved we were surprised to notice that it seemed one chick had hatched and another was breaking out of its shell. We can count at least three tiny chicks. WE hadn’t expected any hatching until next week.


The male sprung into action bringing tiny grubs or caterpillars in and usually passing them to the female so she can feed the chicks. There are times however when he seems to want to feed them himself.


Friday 6th May 2011

Three more chicks had hatched this morning leaving just two eggs still to hatch. The female is still spending lots of time incubating. She is also still turning the two remaining eggs. It’s amazing that the chicks are not squashed under all this activity.  The female was also seen eating one of the empty egg shells so nothing is wasted.


The male is busily hurrying back and forth with food for the chicks and some for the female. He sometimes passes food to the female so she can feed the babies and at other times seems to want to feed them himself. The female too brings back food as she returns from one of her outings. As the chicks grow the task of keeping them fed will become harder still.


The chicks are already gaping and begging to be fed when they hear one of the parent birds returning to the nest.

Monday 9th May 2011

It is important that the nest is kept clean so the parent birds remove any bird droppings. The droppings from the young are enclosed in a membrane called a fecal sac which the parent removes from the nest.


The chicks are now more mobile - when one is accidentally evicted by the female it finds its way back by crawling.



Thursday 12th May 2011

The female bird makes sure the nest is clean by rummaging under the chicks for any droppings that may have been missed.

Any flies that stray into the nest box are soon made a meal of.


Friday 13th May 2011

The nest cup is becoming very crowded as the chicks are growing quickly. As the chicks stretch we can see that the wings are beginning to develop.


Saturday 14th May 2011

The chicks are leaving the nest cup more frequently and now can see to find their way back.


Sunday 15th & Monday 16th May 2011

Chicks are leaving the nest cup and spending more time hopping around or sitting in other parts of the nest box.


One chick died and the mother bird removed it unceremoniously. It didn’t seem too small so we’re not sure why it died.

Thursday 19th May 2011

We think we have five chicks remaining. They seem to be feathering up well and developing blue tit markings. They spend lots of time preening their feather and stretching their wings

Wednesday 18th May 2011

Two more chicks died. The parent bird had a struggle to remove one from the nest box -taking 6 minutes to complete the task. The video has been shortened.


After both dead chicks were removed the remaining chicks were very still which was a worry.

Saturday 21st May 2011

Some of the chicks are really growing quickly and becoming quite inquisitive but I am a bit worried that there is quite a big difference in development amongst the remaining chicks. I hope they are in the nest for long enough for all the chicks to develop fully.

Sunday 22nd May 2011

The most adventurous chick fluttered up to the hole of the nesting box to take a peep outside.

Tuesday 24th May 2011

Another chick died late today. It was being picked on by its larger siblings who pushed in front of it to beg for food and were seen pecking at it from time to time.

Only three chicks remain so it is possible that one of the 8 eggs didn’t hatch as we have only seen the parent birds disposing of three dead chicks. We never actually saw 8 chicks together.

The chicks are exercising their wings and peeping out of the nest boxes obviously ready to leave the nest

Wednesday 25th May 2011

The three remaining chicks have fledged although there was a big difference in sizes. The largest chick left first at 6:36 a.m. followed by the middle one and the the smallest at 6:45 a.m.