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Why is a blue tit that is feeding young in one of our nestboxes attacking a blue tit on eggs in another box?

Sent in by Frances Frodsham, Wigan, Lancs

If you are sure that one blue tit is attacking another, then this is probably to do with territory. 

Territories tend to be claimed early in the year, or held from the previous year by the male. 

Usually territorial disputes are settled by the end of March, well before the nest is built and the eggs laid. The loser has to find another site for its nest. 

Territories are very difficult to define. When nestboxes for the same species are sited closely together, usually only one of them will be occupied. Occasionally though, boxes which are close together will both be occupied simply because they are sited either side of the territory boundary – but only the birds know that. 

So, this is an unusual case. Blue tits are not usually aggressive at this stage of the breeding process; being fully occupied finding food for their young.  There is really nothing that can be done. Hopefully, the birds will sort themselves out and live harmoniously for the sake of their young.

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