great tit testing in an extremely dangerous place - what to do ?

Hello!  I have a little great tit who has been making a sweet nest in a terrifyingly dangerous place in my garden, about 1 metre 20 off the ground, close to where I have seen a rat, in the branches of some honeysuckle and ivy, and in fairly full view of any other predator.  It is also within about 2 metres of my back door/window.  I have jays who come into the garden, and there is not only my cat, but also the neighbour's cat when my dog doesn't chase it away fast enough.  When we move into April, there will also be full sun on the nest for a couple of hours in the late morning.  (There is not much sun yet, as there is a highish wall opposite the nesting place, so the sun needs to be a little higher in the sky to reach it.  We already have a nesting box in the garden, and perhaps this little great tit making the nest hatched from it last year as the box was used twice and I think we had about 7 little great tits in all.  

Yesterday, I quickly put up another nesting box at the bottom of the garden, in case she could be tempted to move.

What, do you think I should do?  Protect it as best as I can with prickly plastic stuff?  Go outside a lot and spend a bit of time there to put her off this dangerous spot, or leave her, and hope for the very best?

Thank you so much!

Alexandar

  • Hi Alexander welcome to the community.
    The general rule is to leave well alone and let nature take its course, having said that is has been posted on here a few times of Woodpeckers attacking nestboxes and people have put a wire hanging basket over the hole.
    Don't know if that would work in your situation though...just a thought.

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  • I've found an old post of TeeJays with a photo of a hanging basket community.rspb.org.uk/.../620790

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  • Thank you so much Alan that's no doubt good advice, to leave well alone. It doesn't seem like I can see the photo, but I figured I could try one of those spiky wire circles around the honey suckle, just under the nest, although that will not protect anything from hungry jays! Every time the parents leave the little nest, the future eggs, or nestlings, will be exposed and open to all and sundry. But I guess that's nature.
  • I've just found your photos. They're fantastic!
  • What is it actually nesting in, Alex. Great Tits usually nest in holes in trees or other crevices and of course nest boxes. Can you take a photo to see what the place is like?

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    Regards,Tony

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  • Thank you so much TeeJay, I tried to send the pics but I can't see quite how to do attach them.
    The great tit is nesting in a couple of branches of honeysuckle which are growing up a south facing wall close to the house. The garden is a little town garden, just outside Paris, with highish walls on either side. The garden itself is about 5 metres wide and 20 metres long and the only big tree is an overgrown bay tree which starlings and sparrows seem to like, but not the tits, not that I have noticed anyway. The nesting box which perhaps this little great tit hatched from is high up on the same south facing wall, about five metres further down the garden. I was rather worried about the heat, and any hot days when they were nesting in their box, but there is some kind of trailing creeper that thankfully grew to make some shade for the nesting box. The other nesting box that I put up yesterday is down at the bottom of the garden, near the bay tree, facing north. What obviously worries me is that this little nest is not in a box and is not protected from anything, neither rats, nor jays, nor cats, nothing!
  • Hi Alex, welcome form Caithness at the very top of Scotland. Not a nice situation, but as you say, it is nature, so fingers crossed all will be well. To post photos hit use rich formatting at the bottom right of the large posting box, then hit insert, then hit images etc, thenchoosefrom the options in the two boxes to pick from web or other and photos files, wherever you have you pictures stored, pick your picture and you will see it come into the empty box. Since we had this site upgraded pre Christmas, there has been much talk about the sizes of the photos, you can leave as is with the numbers that show in the two boxes, or change each to 500, or leave the left box empty and put 500 in the right one, then hit okay and your photo will be in your reply box. You can then add any text. To add multiple photos just repeat the process.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Hi Alexandar, nice to have someone from the Paris area posting - I think that's a first for us. To post a photo click on the "Use rich formatting" link under the reply box. There you will see "Insert" and from the drop down menu choose "insert image/video". Just make sure the image doesn't exceed 4Mb and preferably a bit smaller.

    I've never heard of a Great Tit building a nest in a Honeysuckle before. It does sound to be in a rather exposed position. Of course it may come to its senses and abandon the idea before it lays.

    Let us know how you get on

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    Regards,Tony

    My Flickr Photostream 

  • Thanks for the photo. I see what you mean, it does look very vulnerable. Are you sure it's a Great Tit that's building the nest as it's quite unlike a nest of that species I've ever seen. You could just wait to see what happens and if it persists perhaps you could build that plastic mesh up a bit higher. Small birds like tits would happily fly though a mesh of that size. Not much help I'm afraid.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Regards,Tony

    My Flickr Photostream