Bluetits Feeding - is This Normal

We have a Bluetit nest in a box on one of our garden sheds and two adults have been very busy feeding some noisy chicks for a couple of weeks now. Alternating between taking in fat from fat balls on one of our feeders and going further afield to bring back what looks like small green caterpillars from the park. About 3 days ago, a 3rd Bluetit has appeared and is also taking food into the nest box. It looks fully grown, but when waiting to go in, it flutters its wings like a young bird does when wanting fed. The other two birds seem quite at ease with this one, but is this normal, or is it an earlier fledgling helping out?

  • You're more observant than me, being able to spot three different individuals. Re the wing fluttering, it may be a parent trying to encourage the youngsters to leave the box.
  • In reply to Robbo:

    I watched two parents go into the box and when one came out the third one which was sitting on the washing line nearby, went in.
  • Playing devil's advocate, but how are you identifying the one of the washing line as not being a parent? If my theory is right, about an adult trying to persuade youngsters out, it could be that the two birds you saw going in first was an adult and a returning youngster from the same brood following it in.

  • You may well be right. The nest box is empty now (since a couple of hours ago), so maybe the 3rd one I saw hatched earlier. What puzzled me most was that all three took food into the nest box, yet only the one sat on the washing line about 3m away fluttering its wings before going in, the other two perched on a shrub first. Anyway, we've had a success and there's probably time for another lot of eggs to be laid this year, or does that not happen?
  • I suppose the re-entering chick might have been fed and got confused? Not sure on that, so a wild guess. Re another clutch, very, very unlikely I would say. Your brood is slightly later than many, but they don't often have another brood anyway. Not sure blue tit adults are physically capable of another round of egg laying and feeding.