Blue Tits nesting habits,

Homes for Wildlife

Homes for Wildlife
If you love the creatures in your garden, you'll love our Homes for Wildlife project. This is the place to ask and answer questions about making your backyard wildlife-friendly.

Blue Tits nesting habits,

  • February bird chipping away at nest box entrance,April box occupied, May young birds fledged as I think as normal.October Blue Tit back chipping away at box entrance and inspecting interior.

    I have never noticed this behavior before at this time of year.Is this normal.

  • Hi JD, thanks for posting, i've edited your title a bit and will move this post to a more appropriate forum in a mo'.

    This is a regular observation, it is part of the site selection process for blue tits, it may seem early but some resident blue tits start preparing for next spring during the autumn and winter. This could be one of the ones from earlier in the year returning or a newcomer staking a claim on the box and the territory. Keep watching them over winter, it may be that you witness some blue tit territorial warfare! It is likely that they will use the box for roosting over winter and hopefully they will stick around to breed in the spring

  • That's such an interesting read Ian,  we have a lot of BT's in the garden  (although the garden generally quiet of birds at the moment whilst natural food is still available in the countryside) and I have often wondered about territorial behaviour within this species, so like you suggest to Jonny, I will keep an eye on their behaviour during the winter months as we have 9 boxes to be disputed over  LOL    although not all, of course, will necessarily be used.  

    Good luck with your garden birds Jonny and the thrill of observing them.

  • Thank you Alan.this is my first time on the chat facility.the Blue Tit box is on my garage wall in my backyard onto which I can veiw from my livingroom window.thanks again for your information.

  • Hi. Found my way on here as I wanted to check something: I've just spotted blue tits in the nesting box. I had intended to clean it out as I've not done so from spring: is it now too late e.g. if this is returning pair or new pair, or if they are thinking of using it to hide from our current crummy weather !

  • Hi there,

    Can anyone tell me why 2 blue tits are going in and out of my nest box, which is located on the wall outside the kitchen window.  It all started before Christmas. It seems that the main blue tit seems to be feeding the one inside, as it has been flying back and forth to the box. They don't seem to be pecking away at the box either.  This morning they seemed to being having a fight as if to say stay out, but the other forced himself him inside the box. Can anyone help me out with this unusual behaviour as I have never seen it before.

    Cheers Martin.

  • We fixed a new box with a webcam in it in February and until today, nothing happened. Today, looking out of the kitchen window, we saw a blue tit showing an interest in the entrance.  So, I turned the camera on to look and was excited to see a few bits and pieces of grass etc on the bottom of the box. Then, suddenly, a bird hopped in with another bit of grass.  it shuffled around then hopped out. Then I could see a beak tapping and tapping at the box entrance, from the outside.  

    That was about 3 hours ago.  They don't seem to have come back in since then.  I am hoping that they will, obviously!

  • Help. My daughter has a nest box just outside her kitchen window used by blue tits for years. She is getting a big new extension to her house starting next month and has been talking all winter about where she might move the nest box. Today she found that the blue tits are back and using the box. Will they continue to use it if its moved now, 10 metres across the lawn and attached to the summer house?

  • Hi

    About 2 years ago I built a nesting box and fixed to the fence in my back garden near a bush so it was slightly hidden. Nothing came near it apart from snails. Last Autumn I gave up on the idea of it being used and moved it out into the open near our patio, about 5 feet from the ground on the fence.

    In the last few days we have seen a pair of blue tits flying in and out of the box and one of them goes in more regularly than the other and seems to be cleaning it out.

    This morning another blue tit arrived on scene and was chased away by the pair.

    Does this sound like behaviour of a pair of birds that are going to nest?

    My other concern is when the weather improves we will be using the back garden more regularly. I would like to know if this will be an issue or do blue tits like to be in a box that is in the open with people near by?

    Our back garden is relatively small (36ftx24ft).

  • Hi blue tit watchers! Our nest box was used last year, situated on the side of our back extension, and about 10 foot from the large kitchen window. The area below is a small patio where we sit out, and no problems there Adrian :)

    End of last season we upgraded to a RSPB nestcam, and lined it with soft hay for winter roosting - ignored! This year a pair of blue tits did the usual - tapping at entrance, hopping in and out - they gave the hay the thumbs down, and carried every last shred out of the box. Happily they built and how fascinating just watching that process. We loved seeing them drop material, and then do a twirling dance with outstretched wings to push it out to the edges - and later pushing with their little backs. The final touch was loads of feathers strewn across the top of the nest like a duvet.

    Success - hatching started today!!! It looks like the nest cup spreads outwards at deeper level, and as hatchlings appear, they are moved out to the periphery, whilst the unhatched eggs stay central. The male is full steam ahead with bringing caterpillars, passing to the female who cheeps the news and feeds the hatchlings.

    I am just so pleased I recently retired so I can watch this marvel unfold!

    But who makes the coffee

  • Update on our nest box. The Blue Tits seem to give up on the box and we only see them visit the garden now, however,over the last couple of days have seen a pair of Robin's around the garden and in and out of the nest box. This morning saw a Robin carrying in nesting materials. So fingers crossed.

  • A further update on my nest box which was not used by the Blue Tits. This morning at 7am we saw a Robin carrying in nesting material and this carried on until about 9.30am. My wife left the kitchen for about 30 mins and when she returned there was a neat pile of what seemed to be a lot of feathers on the patio. We are not sure where they came from but tips of the smaller downy feathers look to be red like breast feathers but also some tail feathers too. I peeked into the nest box and there is a bird in there and this afternoon what I presume is the male Robin did pay a brief visit. I am really confused by the pile of feathers dumped on the patio though....first thought a cat may have killed but the pile seemed too neat. Other thoughts were that the Robin turfed them out of the nest for some reason. Strange...anyone got any other ideas?

  • I think you might be right. Really sad as it is the first time we have had a bird actually build a nest and I have only seen a Sparrowhawk hovering around this area once about 3 years ago. I took a closer look in the box today and the nest is created but there is no Robin and not seen any Robin in the garden today.

  • Excellent news,Tim.Keep us all up to date with events,please.

  • I recently set up a cctv camera inside a box, close to the feeders in the garden to get a closer look at the male Blackcap which has become a regular visitor lately. I was surprised to find that almost immediately the camera box was in place, a bluetit entered the box for a good look around, I had to admire his cheek. He also returned ten minutes later for a more thorough examination of his potential nest site. Reading the above posts, it seems  quite normal for this sort of activity in winter.  By the way this is the coldest snap of the winter so far, -1 c at night and around 4 or 5 c daytime in S Wales