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REPRODUCTION OF THE BLUE-TIT IN NEST-BOX

Once upon a time… But this story is not a fairy tale! From the beginning to the end, that is a true story.
We are in France, in a beautiful region where the radiant nature inspired Claude Monet.  

From an observation by photographs and videos by Jean Michel Peers
His website: JMPN PHOTOGRAPHIE

Photographs by Jean Michel Peers (from video clips made through this period)
All the pictures of this observation: 
LIFE STORY

Text by Nicole Bouglouan

April / May 2009-05-19

To learn more about the BLUE-TIT

IMPORTANT:
Once the reproduction period is finished, you must carefully clean the nest-box by removing all the nest materials. You have to wash and scrub down the wood with water and Javel bleach, in order to disinfect the nest inside. You can use white vinegar too.
The birds are parasite carriers, and that is important to protect your nose, mouth and hands while doing that.
Let it dry and then, you will put back the nest-box on its support.

It only remains for you to hope they nest again in the same nest-box next year. Usually, they come back!
Nicole  

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Summary Observation Reports

 

Last year, a nature lover put up a nest-box against the wall of the house, just above a pretty Wisteria. This nest-box intended for Blue-Tits, is equipped with a small infrared webcam.  
From this day, the wait begins…

And in late December, a nice Blue-Tit decided to spend its nights in this lovely place!

The bird returns every night to the box until mid-February. The nest becomes dirty and after a short absence of the Tit and a strong cleaning by the owner of the house, the Blue-Tit starts to build the nest the first week of March.

We can see some pieces of moss in the box.

Two weeks later, the bottom is now covered by the nest made with moss, dry grasses and some feathers.

At the end of March, the nest seems to be finished, and the Blue-Tit sleeps in it every night.

One week later, April 6th, the first eggs are laid.

The nest becomes rounder and one beautiful feather is added.  

Mid-April 15th, there are eleven bluish-white eggs in the nest.

The cup is now well formed with thick rims.

Ten days past… April 25th, the first chicks are hatching!

They are naked, with pinkish skin.

Twelve days later, only two eggs remain on the bottom of the cup.

Some small bills are wide open, waiting for food.

An adult arrives and feeds the chicks.

Outside the nest-box, Dad brings food to Mom all the day, carrying green caterpillars for the young. It gives them to the female which feeds the chicks inside. She takes the food at the entrance.

But both adults feed the chicks. They have now nine open bills!!!

It is for them an incessant work. They bring food to the chicks, and remove the fecal sacs during the same trip. Great organization!  

May 9th, the first born stand up, perched on the smallest!

They are continuously hungry!

They are very healthy, but they live now in cramped conditions.

The young are very similar to the parents and their plumage is beautiful.

Some of them perform flying exercises. We can see the wings completely feathered.

Outside, the adults come and go continuously, bringing food at every trip. They enter with green caterpillars in the bill, and they go out with a fecal sac.
There is no time to lose!

May 13th, the nine chicks are wonderful! They look intensely at the entrance… waiting for food or for freedom?

They are still fed by their parents.

The green caterpillars are available and highly appreciated! They look good… Mmmmm!

Two days later, all the eyes are focused on the entrance.

The bravest climbs on the support of the camera and arrives in front of the entrance. The call of freedom…
The other chicks are very attentive and follow the explorer with their eyes.

Thanks to a short wing beat, the chick is now at the entrance and puts the head outside…

Wow! What a beautiful garden!

Still one night sheltered in the nest-box, and on May 16th, all the chicks take off and leave the nest.

Parents are there, looking at them, feeding them, calling them.

It is time now for freedom. The large nearby trees welcome these pretty birds. Nine Blue-Tits more have arrived in the nature.

All we want is for them to be lucky!

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IMPORTANT!


Don’t touch the nest, and especially don’t open it as soon as the laying is started.

The adults may abandon the nest because your human odor is now on the nest-box through your hands.