No Male blue tit - 5 eggs hatched this morning

Hi,

We came home and put the TV camera on tonight and 5 out of 10 blue tit eggs have hatched......................no sign of the male, have not seen him for the last few days now.

have soaked dried meal worms and placed in feeders..................what else can we do?

  • Hi Jane,

    You can buy live meal worm online, specifically you can buy ones sized for freshly hatched nestlings. Live foods direct I use.

    I place mine in a feeder similar to the one in the link below.
    With the gaurd on top fully down its only blue and great tits than can access the meal worm by hanging off the cage at the bottom and pulling the meal worm through.

    www.robertdyas.co.uk/chapelwood-mealworm-and-suet-bird-feeder

    When your female finds it she'll have easy supply of food that should make life significantly easier for her.
  • In reply to Lukes19:

    Many thanks Luke,

    Still no sign of the male................and it looks like there are still another 5 to hatch...............I have pre-soaked dried meal worms over night and put out this morning on our bird table and have them also in a squirrel buster feeder.....
    but we have young starlings also competing for the food.......................
  • Hi Jane,

    Yeah soaked meal worm are better than nothing for the chicks but nothing will be able to replace live food.

    I've not tried meal worm in the squirrel buster before purely because the house sparrows would demolish them in half a sitting.

    You'll have to keep us updated on you nest box.. Mine have started late this season, currently have 3 eggs in the box. Normally have 10 plus.

    I'll be abiding by similar practices to yourself in doing as much as I can to help the success of the potencial fledglings
  • In reply to Lukes19:

    Hi Luke,

    So we are on day 3, 2 boxes of live small meal worms arrived this morning...............I am putting them out into a domed blue tit feeder..................(pesky starlings can still get in), waiting for your feeder to arrive in post.......
    However, female is just sitting for most of the time on the newly hatched....................she is hardly leaving the nest to feed them...................the food is out there; I have it hanging from our small tree in the garden........about 6-7 metres away from the box..............................why is she not feeding them.....................so distressing
  • We had this situation last week - male bird disappeared and Mum not able to feed her healthy 7 chicks very well. We put out mealworms and suet and they were still growing but when we switched on the camera yesterday a most gruesome sight was waiting for us! All the chicks had been ripped to pieces - literally torn limb from limb and body bits all over the inside. It was so upsetting so I’ve disconnected the camera - don’t want my son to see it. It is a RSPB box with the blue tit size hole and we’ve had broods in there for the past four years without interference. What could possibly have done this? Husband thinks a mouse or rat but no idea how they could have got up that high into the tree
  • In reply to janeM:

    Hi Jane,

    Sorry for the late reply.
    She'll basically have to tread a fine line between nursing the chicks, keeping them warm and seeking food for them.

    I know the feeling you have, you wish you could put I sign up she'd understand saying "free meal worm here".

    Sadly not possible. Just have faith in the fact she will know when is right to leave the nest and I'd be amazed if she didn't quickly find you bounty of meal worm.
    Once she knows the location, she'll be back and forth by the minute. She will still look for caterpillars so as to offer varied nutrition for the chicks but no doubt you'll offer her the helping hand she needs.

    As a side note you'll need to keep the meal worm cool, or they'll over heat and die. The best way if you can bear it is in the fridge. Thankfully we have a spare in the garage. Also good to put a slice of carrot in the meal worm box to keep them fed and happy.

    Look forward to more updates,

    Cheers,

    Luke