Woodpecker destroying blue tit box

I have a pair of nexting blue tits in my garden, all was well until yeserday when a woodpecker decided to enlarge the hole on the front of the box.  The young were still alive after 2 attacks yesterday, but this morning there was another attack and I can not hear them any more. 

There is some feathers and nesting material on the floor so presume all is not good.  The parents are still trying to feed but keep coming away still with the food.

How long should I leave the box alone for?  If I replace with a new box in the next week is it too late for a second  chance of nesting this year?

 

  • In the short  term I would get one of those metal hole protectors, it stops birds enlarging the hole. On the RSPB website around £2.50.
    I think they may have lost this brood, but you can put one of those protectors onto the box while its quite.

    Of all creatures, man is the most detestable, he is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain.
    ~ Mark Twain

  • In reply to JudiM:

    Thanks for your reply, yes think you are right in that they have probaby been lost.

    I never knew you could get hole protectors before today, have had nest boxes for many years at different houses and never had this happen.  Will get one added to the new box I will have to buy for next years season.

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    May 19th evening – hammering heard from garden.  Great Spotted shooed from tit box containing young.  May 20th, 5.30am – repeat exercise.  Later in day, consulted web for answer – found reference to metal plate – knocked one up from scrap sheet – and quickly fitted with two small screws – sat back to watch - 8 minutes, nothing.  Then first adult appeared and sat in entrance for half a minute wondering whether to go in.  Eventually did, followed by other adult.  Everything back to normal with adult appearing every minute or so. 

     

    Thank you.

     

    Does anyone know why it does it?  Is it looking for a nest place for itself or does my beautiful woodpecker really eat baby tits?  The book says insects and seeds?

  • In reply to Timmy:

    Woodpeckers do eat Baby birds.  Sounds like you saved your Blue Tits just in time. Well done Mr Timmy.

    And welcome to the Forums. :-)

    www.thecynicalgardener.com

    Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.

  • In reply to Timmy:

    Yes too late for mine as it was the 3rd attack and had no idea that you could put metal plates on the front till it was too late, at least i will know for next time. Thanks.

  • In reply to juno:

    Did not know that they eat small birds as does not mention in any reference book I have or on the RSPB site.  I thought I was just after insects in the nest.  Thanks for letting me know.

  • In reply to Timmy:

    Timmy said:

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    May 19th evening – hammering heard from garden.  Great Spotted shooed from tit box containing young.  May 20th, 5.30am – repeat exercise.  Later in day, consulted web for answer – found reference to metal plate – knocked one up from scrap sheet – and quickly fitted with two small screws – sat back to watch - 8 minutes, nothing.  Then first adult appeared and sat in entrance for half a minute wondering whether to go in.  Eventually did, followed by other adult.  Everything back to normal with adult appearing every minute or so. 
     
    Thank you.
     
    Does anyone know why it does it?  Is it looking for a nest place for itself or does my beautiful woodpecker really eat baby tits?  The book says insects and seeds?

    Hi Timmy

    Yes- sorry- I'm afraid Woodpeckers will readily take nestlings at this time of year. Along with members of the crow family they are always looking for a tasty snack.

    Good luck with your brood - hope everything works out OK now

    CJ

  • I have three well built bird nests/box with plastic ring around the entry hole at my summer house complex by the lake side. It has been nested by three pairs of small birds. This time we visited the summer house, and we noticed that one of the nest was destroyed by hacking around the plastic ring (the ring having fallen to the ground) and then enlarging the hole length wise downwards and the birds were no more. Next morning we saw two woodpeckers attacking the remaining two nests. One of them was hacking around the ring and the other was hacking the front part of another nest closer to the floor. They had obviously learnt how to destroy the wooden cage and eat the young ones. I swung into action and nailed two big flat tin plates on the front face of the bird nests and that seemed to defeat them. They will probably learn to approach from the side walls next time! Who knows! Very clever birds!
  • Once the woodpeckers have found a good food source they will return until it is all gone. Some people put a metal plate round the nest box hole to stop them enlarging the hole but then the pecker may try making a new hole at the side of the box. If food is there they will try their hardest to reach it.

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • Hi Raj55,      take a look HERE  as we had woodpeckers in our last garden that destroyed three nest boxes and after we applied this method of wire mesh we never had another box attacked. 

       

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"