Blue tits

Please can someone help? We are so sad to have discovered all 8 blue tit chicks have died in their nest box. They had feathers, so were quite advanced. Their mom and dad has been very busy. We went on holiday, leaving plenty of food but since our return there was no action.  We looked inside after a few days and found them all dead. They have used the same nest box for many years and this has never happened before.  Can anyone help and advise what may have happened please?  Thanks in advance. 

  • Sorry no one has replied. No 100% definitive answer for this. It does happen regularly, and has often been posted over the years.

    Nest failures in these cases, IMO, are down to four possibilities. 1) Both parents died while you were away. One yes, both would be a possible but stretching it a bit. 2) Disease. If you had a camera in there which was telling you there were 8 youngsters, and all were fine when you went away, incl the parents, not sure I would give disease a very high chance either. Presumably, the dead bodies didn't include a parent as well? 3) The weather got hot for a bit last week. Is the nest box sheltered and facing away from South, or is it in full sun this time of year? I'm guessing location is ok as you've had successes in that box in previous years, incl quite hot Springs/early Summers. 4) I've commented on other very similar/identical posts about bird food. I am against 24x7x365 feeding so am biased. However, even if people want to feed 24x7x365, RSPB recommends not putting fat out or whole peanuts. Personally, I wouldn't put anything like fat/suet, peanuts & peanut butter or vegan stuff out at any time other than Winter.

    Young chicks, in this case blue tits, need insects and caterpillars for both protein and fluid. When you say you left "plenty of food" before you went on holiday, it could also have been possible the food went off.

  • In reply to Robbo:

    Thanks Robbo for taking the time to reply. The food we left was normal seed and sunflower hearts. It’s just troubled me as we have done nothing different this year at all. The box remains in the same place (not in sunshine) as it has done. There has been a sparrow hawk seen (although not in the last month) but as you mentioned I would have thought unlikely it would kill both mom and dad. I just wondered if I had missed anything. Appreciate your reply and hope for better news next time.
  • Sorry I couldn't resolve the mystery. Maybe someone else can come up with another theory. Having typed that, I just wondered if you were away in previous years when they were close to fledging and this could the first time they went elsewhere for food...?