Unfortunate Blue Tit Nesting place

Hi we have a blue tit who has decided to nest in our cigarette box in our smoking shelter at work. I think a staff member found out when they put their butt in the tray it was flicked out again. We have put signs up around the box to stop it being used. Emailed the offices and put up signs in reception. What else can we do to ensure she is protected and how we can help her and her chicks when they are born? Does the male stay around to help feed them or does she need to leave the nest now and again? Should we put some mealworms out nearby?Any help would be welcome, I don’t want to disturb her and I don’t want her to get injured. Thanks for any help

  • Hi GMayers,    sorry nobody got back to you so I'll do my best to try answer although I'm not an expert ............

    birds do sometimes choose the strangest of places to nest but sounds like you've done the right thing with putting up a sign to warn colleagues to avoid using the cigarette box due to a nesting bird;   it would become an offence now that the bird is nesting (wildlife and countryside act 1981)   to "interfere" with this active nest so hopefully everyone will understand and try keep disruption or disturbance to a minimum as it is a very stressful time for the parent birds and should only be a month or so until the blue tit nestlings have fledged.     The male will assist the female in finding food for her nestlings and you won't have to do anything to help them as there will be an abundance of natural food like caterpillars and insects for them to feed themselves and the  chicks with.     It is recommended you do not place any food near any nesting site as this could attract predators.   The female will leave the box on occasion whilst incubating the eggs to find food for herself and once the chicks have hatched she will be flying back and forth frequently, along with the male to feed their hungry brood.      You are doing the best you can with putting up the signage and giving the parent birds some space to rear their brood - you could rope off a small section around the shelter so nobody uses it for the time being.    Just enjoy seeing the beautiful new fledglings around June time  !       HERE is a link to a guidline of Blue Tit nesting "calendar"             Good luck and hope everyone will heed the signs for about a month.

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    Regards, Hazel 

    My Flickr. photo  link HERE 

  • Hi, well done for helping the Blue Tit. As Hazel said I think you have done all you can. They do pick strange places to nest -last year I spotted one nesting in a plastic lifesaving ring at the side of the estuary . Hope your Blue tit family does well and you have pleasure watching them
    Jayne
  • Hi all thanks for the help, it seems to be going ok. However we have noticed she has kicked an egg out of the nest. Does anyone know why? Is it a dodgy egg and she is conserving her energy for the others. She was out this morning, is it possible she has scouted round and doesn't think there is enough food for them all?
  • There is normally enough natural food at this time of year (birds are pretty smart at timing their nesting with abundance of food) and with both adults feeding the chicks they should be fine. Not sure why the egg was "kicked" out of the nest unless it wasn't hers or perhaps it was cracked or possibly she has started over again laying eggs if she had only just began to nest; the female usually lays one per day and then incubates them once most of them are laid, that way they will hatch together with a day or so. Birds like blue tits often have large numbers of eggs/chicks to ensure their species survives as, in nature, they can get predated either in the nest or shortly after fledging when they are most at risk. Good luck with your nesters and hope you see the offspring in due course.

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    Regards, Hazel 

    My Flickr. photo  link HERE