Blue tit nest

Hi- we have a blue tit nest box on the wall of our house, currently occupied by a female who has laid 9 eggs- she doesn’t seem to be supported by a male and sits on the eggs for about half an hour at a time before nipping out for a few minutes to feed. We have had scaffolding up for about the last four weeks to have our roof relaid- the nest must have been built during that time, and the bird doesn’t seem to have been bothered by the builders- but the scaffolding is due to be taken down later this week, with lots of to-ing and fro-ing past the nest box with scaffolding boards and polls. Is this likely to disturb her, and is there anything we can do to avoid this?

  • Maybe note the exact times she goes out for feeding and plan the sound or traffic disturbance while she's away. For sure she has an agenda. Or leave five or ten minute gaps between concentrated traffic to and from.

    A few days ago my neighbour put up some scaffolding, and the birds in the vicinity didn't appear disturbed. These include pigeons, jackpaws, magpies, feeding great tits and a blackbird family with nestlings in the other neighbour's yard. In my experience the birds won't feel disturbed when any nearby disturbance is not aimed directly at them or their offspring.

    Depending on the type of scaffolding you could consider taking it down as quietly as possible to minimise the aural impact and using rubber hammers when required. Also not looking at the nest or the bird while trafficking would help in minimising the perceived threat level by the birds.

    Cheers, Bas
  • Hi VeeB,

    It'd would definitely be worth putting a sign/note in the vaccinity of the box reminding the workers its occupied.

    Also it would be breaking the law to actively disturb any nesting bird.
    However that said I'm sure the workers, if your brief them, can work swiftly and as quietly as possible around the nest. I've found once eggs and more so chicks have arrived tits are fairly resilient to minor disturbances.

    Cheers,

    Luke
  • Not wishing to argue, and certainly not condoning disturbance, to correct the law point. Carrying out work, gardening, maintenance or whatever is not illegal, regardless of whether it potentially disturbs a nest…….unless it is a listed species, which in gardens is highly unlikely.

  • Hopefully, the young have fledged. Ours did yesterday. Some species, incl blue tits, are quite tolerant of disturbance while feeding young.
  • Many thanks for the helpful suggestions and advice- we're managed to arrange with the builders to leave the scaffolding up a bit longer, but if they need to remove it before the chicks have left (they hatched about a week ago) it sounds like it may not be a disaster, and we can of course ask them to be as quick and quiet as possible. Thank you all so much for taking the trouble to respond to my query.