BIRD GUIDING AROUND OSLO

Great Tit Camera

7 July 2012

Back home and no birds left in the box. I chose to view this postively that the remaining youngster has fledged (would have been 17 days old today so within the range for fledging).

4 July 2012

Just a single youngster remains in the nest box and is being fed by the adults. Good news that they are feeding it but a mystery as to what has happened with the other two. The cat has been on the box again so could possibly have taken them. The other alternative is that they have left the nest box but I can't believe they were old enough to fly. They are 14 days old and according to BWP they can fledge from 16 days.

2 July 2012

On checking the nest box this morning i heard at least 2 youngsters but couldn't see them. The nest had been turned upside down again and nesting material was sticking out of the hole. The cat had been there again! An adult was outside the nest box and was clearly agitated. With little time on my hands i decided to remove all nesting material. This revealed at least 2 youngsters and also allowed the still agitated adult to enter with food. It won't be comfortable without nesting material but will hopefully mean that they are out of reach of that damned cat.

1 July 2012 - Disaster!

After being away for a while I was keen to check the nesting box when I got home today. Three young Great Tits greeted me with their feathers being nearly fully grown.
The camera had misted up!
Later on whilst watching the football I noticed a cat on the nesting box. I rushed outside to get rid of him and noticed nesting material in the entrance (very much like the Blue Tit nesting box). I rushed back inside and connected the camera and saw this:
 A completely ruined nest and no sign of any birds - the cat had clearly managed to get its paw through the hole!
I carefully emptied the nest and removed all the nesting material (it appeared the cat had managed to turn the nest upside down) but there was no sign of the young. As I couldn't see into the bottom of the nest box I again went inside to check the camera and saw this:

Fearing they were dead I removed them but was delighted to find they were still alive. I attempted to reconstruct the nest and put them back in.


 
At the time of writing it is 30 minutes since I put up the box again and the adults have yet to return - I hope that they did not perish at the paws of the cat.I did not put the camera back properly so can only see one youngster but it is moving around.

One of the young looked like it had been hit by the cat and was missing feathers from its head although all three seemed lively enough when I removed them from the nest with all clinging onto my fingers when I put them back in the nest. Fingers crossed the adults will come back later. It could be that it is roost time (gone 10pm) and that the adults roost away from the nest box when the young are so big. It was lucky that the cat chose to attack when I was at home but only time will tell if there is a happy ending....

 20 June 2012

Second brood has hatched. 3 blind, featherless chicks in the nest today (and still 4 infertile eggs). Incubation was therefore 14 days which is bang on the average. At least she had a 100% success rate with the second brood :-)

 

 10 June 2012

She is still sitting on seven eggs so will have at best three fledged young in her second brood as well. Not a quick learner this one..

 6 June 2012


The Great Tits have started a second brood! Seven eggs are visible and the female looks like she is already brooding. These must include the four that didn’t hatch from the first brood as the young from that brood only fledged 3 or 4 days ago. With 3 new eggs she must have started laying immediately the first brood fledged. I have not seen any sign of the fledged youngsters in the garden and it could be that they all perished in the bad weather the day they fledged and this has prompted her to start a second brood. Alternatively she could have so much energy left after the ease of rearing just 3 youngsters and also that the male is able to feed these on his own that she has instinctively started over again. According to BWP around 20% of females lay a second brood and the eggs in the second brood are larger than in the first and I reckon you can see that three of the eggs are larger.

 

 

3 June 2012

FLEDGING! Checking at 09.30 revealed that the young have fledged. Today it is windy, drizzly and only 6C - not exactly perfect conditions. If the chicks fledged yesterday then that is only 17 days and if today 18 days. Either way quicker than average. It is a shame to have missed the actually fledging but it has been fun watching the progress of the family. It is amazing how quickly they grow! Maybe the parents will feel the energy to have a second brood?

2 June 2012

This was the view that greeted me when I looked at 10.30pm. No sign of the young although why would she be sitting like this if they are not underneath her?

 

 

31 May 2012

 15 days old and looking good. Here is a short video of feeding time.

 

29 May 2012

The babies seem to be growing incredibly quickly. When I looked today there only seemed to be two birds but a third soon appeared from underneath the other two (how would it have been with seven young?). The top bird in the picture was flapping its wings and they look very close to being fully grown. Fledging is supposed to be on average 19 days meaning there is still 6 days to go but I reckon these will fledge early.

 

27 May 2012

The Great Tits are still thriving in their nest box. Something fatal seems to have happened to the Blue Tits though. I have not noticed any Blue Tits for a week or so and decided to look in their nest box today after noticing some nesting material hanging out of the nest hole two days ago. Inside the nest box I found a lot of nesting material dumped on top of the Blue Tit nest which contained 2 cold eggs. It is difficult to know what has happened. Either another species (Redstart or Pied Flycatcher?) has tried to build a nest on top of the Blue Tits and forced them, out or the Blue Tits themselves have decided to remove some of the nesting material (they have a new nest?), or another species (Great Tit?) has forced the Blue Tits to abandon by destroying their nest. The nesting material on top looked different to that below which was a still intact Blue Tit nest so I favour the first option but would have expected to have heard either of the likely species singing by the nest box.

 26 May 2012

 I haven't posted an update for 5 days but that doesn't mean I haven't been keeping tracks on the nest. Today they are 10 days old and are very recognisable as Great Tits. The eyes are also open which has only happened in the last couple of days. I assume that with only three young in the nest that they are getting more food and therefore growing faster. When an adult comes in with food and gives it to the chosen baby, the baby eats the caterpillar and then promptly puts head down and arse up to deliver a package to mummy or dady - noone said being a parent was going to be pleasant job!

21 May 2012

 Only 5 days old, the three young are already considerably bigger, with dark fluffy feathers and the flight feathers already starting to grow. They appear to still have their eyes closed though.

19 May 2012

Three young it is then. They have grown noticeably in three days which is also witnessed by a marked increase in the size of the poo bags that the parents are now removing from the nest!

17 May 2012

Still just three young and I don't think there will be any more. Seven eggs was a low number to begin with and only three hatching means that this Great Tit pair is not really doing its part to ensure the survival of the species. Whilst watching in the morning both parents were visiting with food roughly once a minute and then the female sat on the nest again. This is probably to keep the young warm although she could well be hoping that the other eggs will hatch.

16 May 2012

 The Great Tits started HATCHING today on cue. The female is still brooding as I write (1330) but she left the nest briefly to reveal that three of the eggs have hatched and here you can see the featherless, blind little darlings.
 When she returned to the nest she just sat down on the remaining eggs and the three young which I would imagine is both uncomfortable and suffocating for the new borns. Later though one of the youngsters managed to stick its head out which you can see under her tail in the picture:

She is also going in and out and giving them food and removing poo bags so the remaining eggs are getting very uneven brooding. Whilst writing this the male has arrived with food which seems to allow the female to continue with the brooding – it took him a while but he eventually realised what his role was!

 

14 May 2012

She is still brooding as this picture shows:
The brooding period is given as 12-15 days so the eggs should be hatching any day soon.

 

 6 May 2012

She is still brooding. Whilst watching today the male came in with a large green caterpillar for her (I've no idea where they find them as there are hardly any leaves on the trees yet). As soon as she had eaten the caterpillar she left the nest for about 5 minutes presumeably for a stretch and to freshen up. Here is a close up of  the eggs - note how they are positioned in the most space efficient way such that she can easily sit on them and give them equal warmth.

 

2 May 2012

The female was off the nest this afternoon revealing 7 eggs which she had not covered up (given that it is 20C today there is probably no need).

 

 

1 May 2012


The female appears to be brooding now and during a short period of time we saw the male come twice with small caterpillars for her. She is aware that he is close by and starts calling quietly which we can here from the microphone in the nest box. When the male then comes in he gives the food and leaves in the flash of an eye.

29 April 2012

Whilst the female was rearranging things in the nest weglimpsed three or four tiny eggs.

27 April 2012

The female is still sitting on the nest in the evenings presumeably to lay. Presumably by the end of next week the whole clutch will have been laid and brooding can begin.
The Blue Tits have begun taking nesting material into their nest box and will also have eggs so no doubt.

25 April 2012

Yesterday evening I put back up the Blue Tit nesting box and the pair were both in it this morning and mating outside it this afternoon! I fear that there is not enough food in the area for 2 families of Tits to succesfully fledge but time will tell. This afternoon the female Great Tit was not sitting on the nest but had covered it with moss and feathers suggesting there are eggs there. I assume she is in the egg laying stage and maybe uses the day to feed up and then sits down and lays in the evening? I the evening she was again sitting/sleeping on the nest.

24 April 2012


I received a nest box with built in camera for my birthday last year and hang it up in the garden about a month ago. We had pairs of both Blue Tits and Great Tits in the garden but both seemed more interested in the other nest box we had. The Blue Tits won the battle of the nest box and the Great Tits seemed to show no interest in the camera box. I therefore decided to take down the other nest box (no nest had been built) to encourage the Blue Tits to use the camera box. I saw them around it a few times but never saw them going in. Imagine my surprise today then when I connected the camera to the TV and saw a Great Tit sitting on a nest. We haven’t even seen Great Tits around the nesting box let alone entering it so it was a huge surprise to see that they have come so far. We couldn’t see any eggs but the behaviour of the female is such that she must be brooding. We have been watching for a couple of hours this evening and she has been sat on the nest all the time appearing to be asleep most of the time. She occasionally stands up and puts her head down as though she is attending to the eggs. During the whole period we have been watching we have not seen the male visit.

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