We have 2 blue tit hens sharing and incubating 18 eggs in a nestbox with a camera. Does this happen very often

Last week we noticed 12 eggs were laid in one day and then a further 3 the following day and now we have 18 eggs. We have also noticed that 2 hens are simultaneoulsy incubating the eggs on the nest together. They seem to get on reasonably well together but sometimes one bird sits on top of the other. Occasionally a male comes into the nest to feed a female.

Has this ever happened before and what is the likely outcome? I can't imagine it would be a favourable outcome if all the eggs hatch.

  • Hi

    occasionally a male Blue Tit pairs with two females in different nests - VERY occasionally as far as we know they share a nest.

    Probably a proportion of ( the strongest / loudest) of each brood will survive to fledge.

    S

    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box

  • In reply to seymouraves:

    Thanks for the information. It sounds a fairly rare occurrence then. I have been taking some videos to archive but nothing hatched so far. I don't think the outcome will be good and I hope that they don't all hatch as that is a lot of chicks to look after and feed even if there are three parents. I also think that food will be scarce because of the cold weather. We have been putting out food for the parents but it probably won't be suitable for chicks.
  • Hi

    fat balls are good- as long as they are eaten in about 20 days :)

    S

    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box

  • Thanks, I'd better change the current ones. They may be a tad over 20 days. I also have a fat cylinder with various ingredients including dried meal worms so I will put that out as well.
    Mike
  • Are you able to provide live meal worms? I purchase from here, arrive very quickly in regular post!

    www.livefoodsdirect.co.uk/.../small-regulars

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Thanks Wendy, I will give them a try.
    Mike
  • Forgot to add that I keep mine in the fridge, their box in polythene bag for hygiene, slows down life cycle & stops them smelling !  Buy small quantities & use quickly if not used to dealing with them!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr