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.
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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.