Blue tits picking their home

Hi we have a bird box in the garden and plenty of food and water source for birds getting magpies, pigeons, robins, starlings and even blue tits. Two blue tits have been regularly coming back and forth to the garden since december feeding and now in late march have pecked at the entrance to the bird box and even both been in it without building a nest yet. However its been 2 or 3 days since they have been seen near the box although they still come to the garden regularly to feed. My question is - is there a chance the blue tits will come back and use the box to build a nest? Is it still fairly early for blue tits to nest? No material has been delivered to the box yet- i know how wary they are but wondering if all hope is lost or if this is normal behaviour for blue tits to suss things out for a bit before coming back to settle? Is there anything more i can do to help encourage them?

Thanks Sarah

  • Hi Sarah, just now the birds will be busy looking for nest sites and boxes. The tits will be looking for the box that they fancy the most to use to build their nest. They will go around different ones, fly in and out, peck at the entrance holes before settling on the one of their choice. Tits have begun building nests, some have been shown on here by folks who have a camera fitted into the box. They will bring in moss, dried grasses, and feathers. Something you could do to help them is to pull moss (if you have it) from the grass or around the garden and any hair that you groom form your cat or dog (again if you have it), you can put this in a fat ball feeder and hang it up near the nest, and thy will take it, if there is nowhere to hang it, just leave it on the ground near to the feeder, under one of those guardian feeders, (if you have one) or something to keep it together to save it blowing away, and somewhere the birds can get in and out of safely. Don't worry if you can't do this as the birds will collect their own materials. Sometimes the will start to build a nest and for some reason decide to leave that nest and go elsewhere. I hope you get the birds nesting in your bird box and later on are lucky to get babies. Good luck.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • In reply to Catlady:

    Thank you for this it is most helpful. So if some blue tits have already begun building nests and the two i have that have checked out my bird box but not been back for a couple days to it or so but are still visiting for food and keep coming back to the garden is there still hope they may choose mine to nest? How long does the process of them looking for a suitable place and starting to build a nest take? Or again does it vary from bird to bird? I just mean by what date/month will i know if they are going to or not for definate?

    Sorry for the many questions its extremely fascinating to watch them they are mesmerising.

    Sarah
  • Hi Sarah,    good information given by Catlady.   Here's an article about the diary of a Blue Tit which you may find interesting

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    Regards, Hazel 

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

  • In reply to HAZY:

    Thank you very much exactly what i was looking for - any more help ideas im all ears

    Thank you
    Sarah
  • In reply to Swirly83:

    Swirly83 said:
    any more help ideas im all ears

        Blue tits, as Catlady says, may inspect lots of boxes and other nesting sites before deciding.    It helps if your box has a clear flight path,  facing roughly a direction between north and north-east and ensure bird feeders are nowhere near the next box and there is no easy access from fence-lines or other platforms where a predator could access the box.      To be honest, there are no guarantees as to whether the BT's would choose the box but if you have it in the right position with clear flight paths, facing the best direction then you stand as good a chance as any;    occasionally they will start placing nesting materials inside the box and then for no apparent reason they could opt to start again elsewhere.     Fingers crossed, you will be lucky and see some lovely fluffy yellow/grey/blue chicks in June.    

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    Regards, Hazel 

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