Nesting box blue tit question

hello

Last year i did put up a nesting box for blue tits, it hangs away from the sun /wind facing east. Last year i did not have a nest of blue tits, but i was already late on putting it up ( mid breeding season). But this year i was hoping that a blue tit couple would make a nest, but i saw no movement so i decided to check. And like i see very littlle nesting material in my nesting box. That must be an indication that birds have been in there, but why didnt they make a full nest? What does it mean when there is only very little nesting material in it? I have never seen a bird using it. I have 1 other nesting box and that one is used every year, i made sure they hang far apart from eachother. Why is my other nesting box  for great tits used every year and my nesting box for blue tits isnt?

Greets Frida ;)

  • Morning Fida, there are various reasons for birds starting a nest and then abandoning the idea and blue tits can be quiet fussy choosing sites for nesting as they will check out many nesting areas before selecting one. Always better to have boxes up before the end of the year as birds may even use them to roost in, especially during very cold winter months and birds like blue tits start selecting nesting boxes as early as end Jan/February. It could be the position of the box although you have it in the general direction (East) as somewhere between North and East is recommended. The one thing you must never do is once you see any signs of nesting materials is to move that box/nest during breeding season (beginning of March- beginning September) as it breaks the wildlife law; you can't even move it if you think, as in your case, it is not in use anymore. A lot of well intentioned people do not realise that.
    Blue tits are very territorial but if the two boxes are spaced well apart (4 metres plus if possible) then all should be suitable. Better advice could perhaps be given if a photo is shown of the position of the nest box and how the garden is set up. Another good tip is never to have any bird food/feeders anywhere near a nesting site/box as it could attract unwanted predators to eggs/chicks/nestlings.
    It hasn't been the best breeding season for birds with changeable weather, cold May, etc, and I'm sure numbers will be pretty much down this year for a lot of birds.
    Hope this info helps somewhat. Other members may have further opinions to offer you. Good luck.

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • I agree with Hazy. It is also possible an adult was predated or died of natural causes prior to finishing the nest. Location of nest box may well be the critical factor though.
  • In reply to HAZY:

    thanks for your response, here you have some photos

    The nestbox is in fact very far away from my other nesting box, so thats not the problem. I wasnt planning on relocating it, but thanks for letting me know!

    the blue/white wire you see is just for stabily, so th nestbox wont move.

    greets frida

  • In reply to fridakroker:

    Thanks for the photos. Would be interested to know what Hazy thinks. I am wondering if the close proximity of the hedging on both sides is an issue. Very sheltered and probably ideal as an over Wintering roost site. That could well be what it was used for. For a blue tit though, there isn't much opportunity to spot danger, esp when departing the box.
  • Thanks for the photos Frida as it gives a better idea of box situation and although I'm not an expert I can only offer a personal opinion from observing birds on a daily basis in our last woodland type garden for 9 years but I think birds prefer a more clear flight path to and from boxes and with this being in a tight corner I'm not sure it offers that; also predators could lurk very close to the box; birds like sparrowhawks often lay in wait on fence-lines, hedging..... etc. and not sure the tits would have much chance escaping from the box and into wider open space. Seems to give plenty of protection from the weather elements, and as Rob says, maybe suitable for roosting. It's a lovely looking nest/roosting box and guessing you don't have great spotted woodpeckers in the area or you would need to protect the box with metal hole plate and wire mesh covering. It will be interesting to see if birds use it during the late autumn/winter months for a cosy place to roost away from harsh weather. With many placements of nest boxes it can be a case of trial and error. Boxes can be cleaned outside of breeding season - we used to clean our 13 nest boxes ! generally at the end of September, beginning of October so we could get them back up before November/December.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"