Great Tits nesting in a (very tall) gate post - not sure if the chicks can get out...?

Hello, I've just discovered a family of Great Tits nesting in a gate post. They enter through an old hole where the lock used to be, and dive about 1.5 metres down to the nest, which is right down at the base. I've managed to identify about 6 chicks inside, currently feathered but I think with eyes closed. My concern is that the fledglings won't be able to make it up so high to actually get out of the hole once ready. Should I do something - perhaps crafting a small "ladder" made of rope so that the chicks will have something to cling to during their ascent? Or just leave them be? I have a few photos if you'd like to see more clearly the situation! Thanks so much! Natasha :)
  • Hi Natasha, photos would be lovely to see. From what I have read before, the birds will be okay and be looked after and fledge okay.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • I would leave things alone but keep an eye on them. Hopefully they will grip onto the wood inside and gradually jump fly towards the entrance where they see their parents go to exit.

  • Thanks for your replies! Unfortunatley the gate post is smooth metal so I'm worried they may not be able to grip.

    Photo:

    www.instagram.com/.../BFmgLSlnmKx

  • In reply to Natasha S:

    I suspect the inside of the post will not be as smooth as the outside.  I have known nests fledge from similar positions with no trouble.

  • In reply to M K:

    Geez that looks steep!

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  • In reply to Marina P:

    Tit fledglings can usually fly quite well when they leave the nest (they need to because of nesting in holes in sheer tree trunks) so they should be OK to get out with a combination of scrambling and flapping.

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  • In reply to aiki:

    what happened with this nest, have the youngsters fledged?

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    "Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way." John Muir

  • In reply to Marina P:

    Hi everyone, so here is the final outcome of the great tit nest in the gate post.

    Unfortunately it was not a happy ending.

    I was monitoring the chicks every other day by poking in a small camera and taking a photo. 4 chicks remained and looked very healthy, with a little fluff, so still not quite ready to fledge. I stopped checking on the birds so regularly as I didn’t want to spook them into fledging too early.

    At some point I did a check and noticed the gate post stank. I looked inside to find just one chick left! The chick looked in such bad condition I initially thought it was another bird entirely. She was living on 3 rotting corpses and was covered in dirt and flies, but very much alive. On the advice of a local animal ambulance worker we decided to intervene and rescue the remaining chick. So we hung a nest box (including a nest inside the box) right next to the gate post, and managed to fish out the chick with a net on a stick.We popped her inside the nest box and watched from a distance; thankfully the mama bird continued feeding and tending to her chick in the new box after just a few minutes. Sadly though, the final chick had died by the next morning.

  • In reply to Natasha S:

    Aw that is such a shame Natasha, especially after you tried to help the last baby. Sad as it is, that's nature sometimes.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • In reply to Catlady:

    Well, as Catlady says, sometimes animals have to learn the hard way which are appropriate nesting places and which are not. Shame for the little ones not making it despite their mother's and your efforts though. Is it practical to leave the newly installed nest box next to the gate post for next year - or maybe a repeat attempt to start a family by the parents this year?

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    "Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way." John Muir