Blue tit nest box cam - page 6

The final chapter!

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Friday 31st May

Last night was the first night the chicks were left on their own in the nest box. It's just part of the growing up process. Nevertheless, I was more than a little relieved to see both parents come to the chicks this morning and feed them.

My new computer monitor (only 48 hours old) died on me last night so there was no chance of capturing any direct images until late afternoon. I had visions of all the birds leaving the nest whilst I arranged an exchange and made a 60 mile round trip to get a replacement, but fortunately all were still there on my return!

Click on the images below for an enlarged view of the young birds

It's getting so crowded within the confines of the nest that the more mature birds have taken up positions that give them a little more room, (highlighted in red at the top of the picture.)

It can't be long before all eleven are ready for the outside world and all its dangers. Al least in here they're safe. The birds have now become a part of our lives. Remember, we were there at the birth ! How they've grown. It must be all those mealworms! Seventeen days ago they were just eggs.

Almost ready to go!

I wonder what they're all thinking?

Sunday 2nd June

Each day I think - This is it; the last day, but all eleven are still here. When mum and dad bring the food, it gets a bit crowded in the nest box with thirteen bodies jostling for position.

The three at the front (the entrance hole is at the top of the picture) seem to be discussing their escape plans. Obviously the time is not yet right for them to leave.

Monday 3rd June

Both parents have tried to tempt the bigger and stronger birds out of the nest box, but without success. The smaller birds at the back are not getting any food now as those on the front row are the only ones the parent birds see. I don't want any fatalities now they've got this far.

Wednesday 5th June 8.30 a.m.
1 down - 10 to go!

After much deliberation the first of the 11 blue tits left the nest. I postponed my first trip on the canal just to see this story through to its conclusion, so I'm glad I didn't miss it.

Click the image on the right for a better view.

Anticipation, and no doubt some fear as the birds start to leave

Thursday 6th June

At 7.45 this morning we woke to find that six more blue tits had left the nest, leaving us with only four. I did not think these were ready to go, so was surprised to find that within another half an hour they'd all left as well. I found it quite touching when mum came in at 9 o'clock to do some general housekeeping, making sure that everything was left clean and tidy! It's exactly three weeks since the blue tits hatched. What incredible development in such a short time.

Thursday 6th June 7.45 a.m. Thursday 6th June 8.15 a.m. Eerily deserted!

The pictures below show the last birds leaving the nest. In picture three there is a blur as the last remaining blue tit makes the most important decision in his life. He must be relieved to find that all that wing testing inside the nest box has paid off! His brother / sister can be seen taking a well earned rest on the nearest branch.

Click the images for a better view.

Peering out on an unfamiliar world The first flight is short as there is a convenient branch close to hand First flight!

After a few traumas along the way, including camera connection boxes that filled with water, stalking cats, magpies on the bird box roof, some appalling weather and initial food shortages because of the cold and rain, the story had a happy ending. Eleven eggs laid and eleven blue tits survived and fledged. Of course for the blue tits it's merely the beginning. I wonder if I can go through this stressful time again next year, or does it become easier second time around?

Nest Box Cam - page 1

Installing the Henry's nestbox camera

Nest Box Cam - page 2

Nest building and the subsequent 11 eggs

Nest Box Cam - page 3

The chicks - hatching and the first 3 days

Nest Box Cam - page 4

Feeding the chicks

Nest Box Cam - page 5

Nest cleaning and toileting procedures!

Diary for 2005

2005 images - Page 1 onwards