Blue tits and my nest box

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Blue tits and my nest box

  • Hello all. I am extremely limited with nest box sites in my tiny garden, so this year I have tried putting one on the side of the house about a metre away from a window facing the garden (I'm on a big slope, so the nest box is at first floor height from the ground but only about 2 metres higher than the garden where they feed (about 20 metres away). To be honest I wasn't expecting much luck - partly due to the height and lack of cover and partly as I sit and watch the birds from this upper window. However today I've noticed a lot of blue tit activity on the nest box. I took it off to look inside and there is actually a small amount of nesting material inside already. However what I'm noticing is that all the blue tits coming on to the nest box are not actually going inside the box... they sit at the hole, look around up/down for a few moments and then fly away. This has happened about 7 or 8 times today and I've no way of knowing if they're the same or different birds. Any thoughts as to why they're not actually going inside, or anything I could do to encourage them further? I wondered perhaps if because there is nest box material already in there (maybe abandoned by another bird?) this might deter them - should I remove it or better to leave it be? Do you think the box is likely too high for the birds to consider nesting in there? All thoughts welcomed!!
  • You can look inside the box but I think taking it off the wall to look inside is not a good idea and if its being used its against the law to disturb it, sadly we can't watch a box at all times so how do you know they are not going in when you are not watching.

    Have a look on this page Gillian, it will give you some advice about bird box’s.

    Bird Protection Law permits the cleaning out of nests between 1 September and 31 January

    All the best and hope the Birds do use your nest Box.

  • Hi Gillian, the birds will be sussing out the bird box and any others that they see. They will sit at the hole and look about mabybe pop in and out and then they decide which one to use to breed in. The material that is is there is probably from last year, but should be now left, the birds will take in and out what they fancy using. They will also use boxes to roost in just now, on cold and wet nights. Good luck, hope they nest with you.

  • Thank you both - you were (of course) correct and I'm pleased to say in the last few days there is definite nest building taking place in the box! I'm now having a minor meltdown that the box is too high and when the chicks fledge they're going to fall to their deaths... it's at first floor window height with nothing directly underneath (trees etc) to break their fall. This completely didn't occur to me when I was putting the box up :(

    Thank you for the info on clearing out nest boxes too - I didn't actually know it was against the law, so always good to know.

  • Hi Gillian  they will fly from the box when they fledge they don't fall out...they will be ok.

  • Thanks for the reassurance :)

  • How are your Robins getting on this year?

  • Hi there! Sadly in spring 2016 Mr Robin died :(  Sounds stupid that one could get so attached to a wild bird, but I really was so sad - he was such a lovely companion and would happily just sit with me on and off most days. I knew immediately the day he'd died even though I never found him. He died while Mrs Robin was incubating and only a couple of days before the eggs hatched so I spent a a lot of time in the next couple of weeks providing wax worms for her to give to the chicks! I know at least one of them fledged successfully so that was at least some consolation. Mrs Robin hung around for the next year - I didn't see her with a male last summer (at least not in my garden) - then she was back last winter and now she has a new mate here (Mr Robin II) who is quickly becoming pretty tame too. I think she might be incubating at the moment as I haven't seen her in a couple of weeks after they were feeding together most days. But I will wait and see! How about your Robins, how are they getting on?

  • Very nice to hear Gillian, I have not seen my female for a few days so she might be incubating too, the male is here all the time and the mealwormes keep disappearing so keep going out and putting more down for them and the male Blackbird.

  • GillianW766069482

    How about your Robins, how are they getting on?

    They are doing well so far. Here's the thread: 196510.aspx

  • Gorgeous pics! What a photogenic Robin he is. They do love those wax worms don't they... mine will eat mealworms happily too but will often pause for a bit first and look at me as if to say "is that all you've got?". The male Robins always seem to be braver / tamer than females, at least from what I've encountered- have you found that too? The females always tend to be more nervous.

  • That seems to be the case with those in the garden. I'm about to update the thread with some exciting news!