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Old 9th May 2016, 08:54 AM   #1
chloekeef
 
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Default will blue tits abandon the nest?

We have a decorative nest box right next to the conservatory. We put it there because it is pretty, not expecting anyone to move in! it now has been occupied - nest built we think as Mr Tit arriving with grubs for his Mrs. Now the weather has improved we are going to be coming and going right next to them, sitting on the terrace etc. I have put up a bit of cloth on the glass next to them, but are they likely to get frightened off at this late stage and abandon the eggs?
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Old 16th May 2016, 11:24 AM   #2
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It might be a problem if you are going to be in close proximity to the nest box. In many areas the Blue Tits are just about to fledge so hopefully you won't have too long to wait.

If you see lots of activity with birds taking food into the nest box then it would be worth minimising disturbance as much as possible. If you are able to watch discretely from the house and don't see any activity over, say, twenty minutes then the nesting attempt may have failed.

The best guide will be the birds: if you find that you are being scolded by one or both parent birds, particulalrly if they are also carrying food, you need to give them some space. If they are happy to fly in and out while you are present, or there is simply no activity, I think you are safe to carry on normally.

I hope that's helpful.
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Old 17th May 2016, 05:37 AM   #3
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Thank you, that's helpful. There is activity at certain times of the day. I think the female is sitting on eggs and the male is popping in sometimes to feed her, although she comes out sometimes too. I assume if the eggs have hatched then we would hear them. I'm not sure what the incubation time is. Chloe
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Old 17th May 2016, 09:19 AM   #4
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It's a pleasure, I'm glad it was helpful.

The incubation time is 12 to 16 days and the nestlings fledge after 16 to 22 days. From what you've observed you may have another three weeks to wait. So long as you are alert to the presence of distressed adults and willing to give them a little space if required they have as good a chance as any brood. We're hoping for a happy ending!
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Old 17th May 2016, 11:25 AM   #5
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Thank you! Let's hope for a happy ending :-)
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Old 27th May 2016, 05:44 AM   #6
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Thank you Martin for your responses and maybe you can help again! I wonder if you might have ideas as to what is happening now. A few days ago the nesting box fell off the wall. I quickly replaced it, assuming that it would now be abandoned. As the roof had fallen off I was able to see that the box had been beautifully lined with moss and a small round nest built in amongst the moss. However, no eggs! Activity continued as normal with both birds flying back and forth and it seemed that the female was spending more time inside and he was feeding her. But, although I can't be watching all the time, there seems to have been no activity for the past 24 hours. What happens if they don't produce eggs? Do they abandon the home and move elsewhere? Do they abandon each other? Or do they give up and forget the whole thing?!
Best wishes,
Chloe
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Old 20th June 2016, 10:23 AM   #7
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Hello Chloe,

I've been away for nearly a month, I'm sorry for the delayed reply. Sometimes the birds will desert the nest if something distresses them and, if there's time, try again. If one of the pair goes missing the attempt is almost always abandoned, but a lot could have happened in the intervening few weeks.

That's the theory, but what happened in reality - did the birds return?
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Old 20th June 2016, 12:43 PM   #8
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Hi Martin, thank you for getting back to me. Sadly the nest was abandoned. I saw her in the tree outside the window by the nesting box, she saw me and flew away and I haven't seen her since. I'm telling myself it wasn't seeing me that scared her off as that hadn't put them off before. After realising they weren't coming back I looked at the nest. It had been worked on more since it fell off the wall so I assume that hadn't put them off. I'm thinking something must have happened to one of them, a cat perhaps. But there have been little fledglings in the garden so at least a pair in the neighbourhood has succeeded. It seems so sad after all that home building! I wonder what happens to the survivor of a pair when one of them disappears.
Regards, Chloe
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