Blue tit parent dead on the nest

  • Thanks for update Bob

    Doh!! hope if new female she wont destroy the Eggs, to start again...

    How we agonise over our Birds and wildlife.

     

  • Thanks for the update Rob.

    Jim

    My Pictures

  • Hi.
    Post Mortem results:

    "Many thanks for submitting this blue tit to the Garden Wildlife Health project for post-mortem examination.

    Ref: Blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

    This was an adult female blue tit in normal to thin body condition with no visible fat reserves but normal pectoral muscle mass. The gizzard contained a good amount of food particles showing that the bird had been eating recently. The tissues were affected by an advanced state of decomposition which limited examination of certain organs and body systems.
    Whilst both lungs appeared to possibly be congested (dark red, which might be indicative of inflammation or bleeding), the advanced state of carcass decomposition did not allow for any conclusions to be made.
    No significant abnormalities of the other internal organs were observed except for changes expected in this state of decomposition.
    Results from the microbiological examination of the liver, lungs, and small intestinal contents are still pending, and we will update you should these lead to any significant findings.
    Microscopic examination of the small intestinal contents did not reveal parasites and the culture for trichomonosis was negative.
    An archive of frozen tissue has been taken for potential use in the future.

    Summary:
    Unfortunately, given the high state of autolysis (decomposition) we were unable to conclude the cause of death in this blue tit, which remains undetermined. However, so far, we found no evidence of any underlying disease that may have contributed to its death.
    We will contact you again should we reach any further significant conclusions from the results of microbiological cultures.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to help us learn more about the conditions that affect British garden wildlife."

    Thanks in advance for your interest and for support.

    Best regards,

    Rob
  • Nest update:
    Very interesting - well to us.
    Following the removal of the deceased mother from the nest box-with-camera was listed regularly by two blue tits for a few days. One I think was the bereaved partner because it constantly went to where the body had been and also seemed to bury its head and shuffle the eggs. The other bird stayed by the entrance. On occasions one of them would remove nesting material.
    At the same time two blue tits started nesting in another nest box on the house - I think the same two.
    The nest box-with-camera (nbwc) was then randomly visited but every time we turned the camera on no bird was inside although it looked like the nest had been re-arranged. We assumed that a bird had been roosting there.
    Yesterday we saw a bird fly towards the nbwc and tuned in - no bird in but 12 eggs easily countable - the original eggs had always been well covered. Moreover, the 'new' eggs were in a 'bowl' closer to the entrance than the original 'bowl'. Were these eggs the original ones or new ones?
    Today there is a blue tit brooding the eggs. It has flown off and returned every now and then - presumably to feed.
    Not seen any partner bird.
    Will keep you updated.
  • Thanks for the updates Rob, at least the deceased blue tit didn't appear to have signs of disease which are always a worry as it can spread to other birds and although we'll never know the exact cause of death it is still interesting to read the PM report nonetheless and also good to hear about the new activity with Blue Tits, thanks for all your concerns and efforts and hope you get to see some lovely fledglings around your garden in due course.

    post edit:    it did occur to me that this blue tit may have died as a result of a fierce encounter with another bird as I have often seen them attack one another over food source or nesting sites, etc.,     perhaps it was injured from such a fight and died as a result.     Only a theory as it remains unclear as to certain cause of death. 

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

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

  • Well done, Rob, for doing all this and thanks for the update. Our blue tit nest has clearly failed. No camera, but not seen what I believe to be the male for a couple of days now. He had two trees he favoured, incl the nest box tree, so I fear the worst for him. No activity at the entrance.

    Got to admit, I was disappointed with the response from GWHP. Unless it was held up in the post, it's pretty poor to have decomposed too much to pin down a cause. You didn't waste time sending it off, so there may have been storage issues, possibly?