Blue tit saga 2012

Once again the nest box just outside the bedroom window was occupied by a pair of blue tits.  By mid-May both parents were busy feeding the hidden brood. Last week we were shocked to realise that there was only one working adult, and it was very bedraggled with most feathers gone from its head and wings looking ragged and worn.  We wondered if one adult could bring them all to fledged birds.

Just look at the poor condition of that overworked blue tit.

Over the last few days we saw that it was possible, as one by one several young tits were encouraged to leave the box.  The adult gradually stopped entering the box as the next fittest youngster started to climb to the exit and lean out further to receive food. 

The youngster has been tempted up to the entrance to take food

At a carefully selected moment the adult stopped coming to the box but sat in a holly tree just 12 feet away and sang – ultimately coaxing each chick to launch itself into the air. 

Ready for the big world – a moment later this one had flown. n all 4 or 5 made it away from the box.

Some ended up in the back yard, where the adult continued to take them food.  One was taken indoors by Sybil – one of the cats next door – and was brought back to us by John.  Having put it back in the holly tree the parent seemed to recognise us as surrogate parents and stopped fleeing every time we went into the garden.

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