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Blue tits: How long between nest building and egg laying?

Hello,

Is there a typical standard time frame between nest building and egg laying or does it varying significantly?

I have a nestbox with a camera installed. A pair of blue tits have been frenetically building a nest in the box for the past week (from 14 March). As its quite early (according to online sources) for the nest to be built I'm intrigued to know if they are likely to wait several weeks before laying or if laying starts soon after the nest is built? Or does laying start soon after a nest is built regardless of whether the nest was built earlier than usaul?

I'm quite new to this so I'm so excited about the fact that my nestbox has become a home for a pair of BTs

Thanks in advance for your help

Matt

  • Hello Matt, I have attached a link that will give you some facts regarding blue tits. I think that wherever we live they build, nest etc at the same time. Just now they are investigating the boxes and choosing which one to use, they will take in materials but I am unsure if they wait until a bit later to actually start mating, laying etc (as it does say April/May). I think they can start earlier. It will be exciting watching them with your camera, keep us posted as to what happens. If you can add some photos or videos, that would be great to see, you can get help if you need it, just ask. Good luck.

    ypte.org.uk/.../breeding

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Hello Catlady :)

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge, I'd love to share some footage with you and the community. How do I go about uploading it to this thread / forum?

    I was also thinking about putting out some live mealworms when the chicks hatch. Is that a good idea? Should I use mini mealworms? Would it be ok to place them near the nest box (1m away) or would that cause a problem by attracting other birds? There isnt much activity around here so I thought that putting a bowl of mealworms on the window ledge near the nest will catch the eye of the parents but probably go unnoticed by other birds as its tucked away under the nest box and under the eaves of the roof...

    Thanks
    Matt
  • Hello Catlady :)

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge, I'd love to share some footage with you and the community. How do I go about uploading it to this thread / forum?

    I was also thinking about putting out some live mealworms when the chicks hatch. Is that a good idea? Should I use mini mealworms? Would it be ok to place them near the nest box (1m away) or would that cause a problem by attracting other birds? There isnt much activity around here so I thought that putting a bowl of mealworms on the window ledge near the nest will catch the eye of the parents but probably go unnoticed by other birds as its tucked away under the nest box and under the eaves of the roof...

    Thanks
    Matt
  • Hi Matt, sorry to reply so late, I did write this long reply this morning but hit something and an advert came up on screen and when I backspaced I had lost the reply! Busy doing things, had a run out in the car then dinner so only sitting now, so I will try again!

    To post photos you have to have them saved on watever device you are using, iPad, phone, laptop, computer (you probably knew that anyway), videos I have never posted but I believe that you have to up load them onto you tube and then somehow store them in your folder as well, they have to be a certain size, if they are too big they will not work. Hopefully someone can help with that one.

    Hit the use rich formatting option, opposite the reply box
    You will now see some little boxes, pick the one that looks like a wee TV with a shape that looks like a mountain in it.
    You will now get options to pick where you have your photos/videos stored, pick the one required.
    Your photo will now show in the box, above you will see two boxes with numbers change the first box to 500/600 and leave the second box empty. This will change the size when you post it, if you want them bigger or smaller then change the size accordingly.
    It depends on your device and software, since updates on here, (using iPad) I do not get many options and once the photo is picked I have no choice to change size, I also have to post one picture one at a time, then go back and edit my post to add another, hopefully you will not have to do that!
    You can add as many photos as you want and add some text in between if you want, it is a good idea to hit return after every photo, that way when it is on the thread there is a space between them and it makes it easier to look at and follow.
    For your videos I am unsure if you can post more that one at the same time, again hopefully someone will help.
    Once you have your text and photos ready, hit post and that will go on the the thread for us to look at.

    Something else that may be of use, if you need to alter, change, add anything onto something that you have posted, hit the more option above the reply box and then hit edit, scroll down and you will see what you have added and you can make changes there, then post.

    Sorry this is a bit long, this site had updates over the years and it is not the easiest to navigate, so trying to make it simple for you. Any problems just shout. Good luck.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • In reply to Catlady:

    Forgot to answer the other part to your question! You really don't want to be going too near the nest site much at all but once you see the parents going in and out with food and hear the chicks I would have thought it okay to leave out mealworms somewhere near but not too close to the box.

    EDIT, I have had a quick Google and yes this is perfectly okay to do, babies get so much nourishment from caterpillars so mealies (live ones) would be good for them. It will also help the parents as they have to do many trips to feed the babies in a day. You can use dried mealworms but you must soak them in water before leaving them out. 

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Hello Catlady :)

    Thank you for your helpful messages.  My mealworms have arrived and I'm setting up a breeding container. I'll follow your advice and place the worms a little distance away from the nest (about 8m away) so that the parents can keep the little ones topped up!

    I hope you're having a relaxing weekend. Let me know if you can view the video below :)

    Matt2146.1616419689086.MP4

  • Hello Matt, well done on getting the video uploaded and posted, yes I can see it. A very busy Blue Tit, it will be lovely to follow the nest. Good luck with looking after those live mealies!! It is a nice sunny day up here today, a bit on the cooler side, will potter about in the garden, enjoy your weekend also.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.