Great Tits inspecting nest box

Hi everyone,

Had a nest box with a 28mm entry hole near my house for about two years. Great Tits used it during spring 2018 and 2019.

Recently replaced it with a similar box equipped with a camera. Seems that a Great Tit is visiting the nest box regularly (almost every day) since the end of January.

It starts with inspecting and pecking around the outside of the box. It then enters the box, looks and pecks around and then hangs on to the entrance hole pecking around for a couple of minutes. This happens 1-2 times a day, usually before noon.

Does anyone know what this means? Is it expected behavior? Is it planning to build its nest in there? Is it looking for the old nest box?

Any feedback will be appreciated :-)

thanks,

Andreas

  • Hi Andreas, birds like the blue or great tits often start inspecting prospective nesting boxes/sites early in the new year (I have seen blue tits inspecting boxes as you describe as early as January) so I would say it is perfectly normal behaviour and it is possible the GT may choose this box to nest in even with the new box/camera. They may look at several nesting sites before choosing their favoured one and the pecking at the entrance, going in and out is all normal behaviour. They are checking the site/box for safety, clear flight path to and from and facing roughly north - north east so the box doesn't get too hot during the spring/summer months when they are raising their brood inside the box. If they favour that box they will keep other birds away from it and become territorial once they have chosen it. That doesn't mean to say that when they start building a nest they don't suddenly change their mind and opt to start another nest elsewhere ! Fingers crossed the more frequent visits will result in them using the box and you will get some lovely views as they raise their new brood. Sounds as if your box is in perfect position if they have used this site in the past so good luck.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

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

  • Hi Andreas, how lovely for you, sounds as if you will have nesting tits. It is lovely to watch them going about their business, building and rearing their young. Hopefully they will use the box and you can see the footage, and then be able to share it with us. Good luck.
    Great information from Hazel for you.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • In reply to Catlady:

    Good morning!

    Thank you both for the useful information!
    Visits continue, so hopefully they will start building their nest soon. Will keep you updated and try to share footage.

    cheers,
    Andreas
  • Good morning!

    Just to let you know that the next box visitor started building its nest :-)

    Link to a short video:
    app.box.com/.../lrtvd0ib94fp7fe53aqn3xqle4h983a8

    cheers,
    Andreas
  • Hi Andreas, lovely to hear your nest box is being utilised and fingers crossed you eventually see new chicks emerging from it.
    You may have to upload your video via YouTube first to then be able to show it on this website as it is not showing in its current format.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

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

  • Great news, saw vid fine once I clicked the download button!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Good to hear that you can view the video!

    Anything I can do to help the Great tits in building their nest, i.e. provide some nest building materials nearby?

    --A
  • I usually chop ornamental grasses into manageable pieces & leave in a pile on the ground for nesting birds to help themselves to during nesting season ... always popular!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • In reply to anpap:

    Good morning!