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Video clips from BlueTit-Cam 2009

{click on an image to enlarge}

A blue tit begins his inspection

To Play a video clip below, left click on the image.

If this doesn't work, or the video is jerky, right click & select "Save target as..." or "Save link as..."  then run the saved file with your media player.

Video clips now include sound (mpeg-4)

11th March; 29sec half size video clip (3.2MB)
11th March

Just 10 days since the box was re-attached to the archway, and we already have blue tits checking it out. At least two different birds have been seen entering the box (as determined by the black eye markings).

It is way too early for these birds to be building nests. In fact they seem to be removing some of the wood shavings that we added when the box was rebuilt.

12th March; 32sec half size video clip (3.6MB)
12th March

If you have speakers, crank up the volume.

You should hear the birds pecking around the box entrance.

The first bird comes in, calls his mate, they then have a short chat before leaving.

1m 23s half size video clip (7.7MB)
24th March

At last some nest building activity!

Blue tits have been visiting most mornings, and there has been plenty of pecking around the entrance. But this morning, for the first time, a bird made 4 visits bringing some nesting material into the box. He/she also continues to remove the white hamster bedding that we provided.

Notice the way the bird flaps its wings and seems to crash into the sides of the box. What are they doing? Is this a way to fan the debris to the sides of the box, or some signal to its mate?

By 9:30 am they had clearly had enough of work and did not return for the rest of the day.

3rd April; 17sec Flash Video clip (3.5MB)
3rd April

The blue tits have stopped bothering the great tits and have returned to work, bringing in dried grass and moss to line the nest.

10th/11th April

The 10th was a wet day, and although there were a few visits to the box, this did not involve much nest building. However, last night a blue tit spent the night in the nest box for the first time. This puts them about 3 days behind the great tits.
We did notice the birds feeding frenquently from the peanut feeder and fat ball, so maybe they are bulking-up ready to lay eggs?

Great Eggspectations! (but no clear video)

16th April

We thought we could see the outline of an egg below the surface of the nest this morning. This was only confirmed this evening when the female returned to settle down for the night.

So the current score is: blue tits 1, great tits 3.

Eggstraordinary!  How many?  (3MB)
17th April

Based upon yesterdays count, there should only be 2 eggs in the blue tits nest this morning.

There are certainly 4 visible in this video clip and with a bit of imagination, maybe you can see more?

Five eggs visible, but are there six?
19th April

A recount of eggs in the blue tits nest has not been possible so far. When she fidgets around on the nest you sometimes get a glimpse of a few, but she always covers all or most of the eggs when its time to leave the nest in the morning.

She makes the occasional visit during the day to bring in additional soft nest material. However, if it was not for the camera+DVD recorder we probably would not notice this, and would assume that they had abandoned the nest.

Spider for lunch (3.7MB)
24th April

This morning she laid her 11th egg, and is now spending most of the day on the nest.

The male seems to feed the female more frequently than the great tit does for his partner.

First 2 chicks
5th May

Exactly 2 days after the first great tit chicks arrived, the blue tits have started to hatch.

This video clip shows an early attempt by both parents to feed the new chicks.

Count the beaks
12th May

The blue tit chicks have completed their first week and seem to be doing well.

At least one of the eggs failed to hatch, but we seem to have 9 lively looking chicks that are now developing wing feathers.

Re-count the beaks
14th May

It looks like we actually have 10 chicks, and they are now almost half way through their 20 day stay in the nest.

The parents are maintaining a high rate of caterpillar deliveries, and all seem to be getting a fair share.

16th May

All 10 chicks continue to grow, and although the nest cup has expanded, it looks very crowded in there.

They now "tweet" and open their eyes when a parent brings food into the nest.

Standing room only...
18th May

All's well in the blue tit nest and the chicks are now very noisy.

The nest cup almost fills the screen, and from time to time chicks will either climb out and move around the flat part of the nest (which is not visible with our camera) or, as shown in this photo, pull themselves out and just sit on the heads of the other chicks.

Not only do the chicks stretch their wings, they have also been testing them. This involves flapping them fast enough to create a buzzing sound, but not fast enough to actually take off.

Yesterday evening the female spent a lot of time trying to repair the sides of the nest cup.

Exercise time...
20th May

There is not enough space in the nest cup, so now we usually only see 4 or 5 chicks at a time, the rest are out of view in the flat part of the nest near the entrance (top of image). This means we can't be sure how many have survived, but the ones we can see look very healthy.

The chicks are looking very restless so we wonder if they are going to fledge early (maybe this weekend?).

I'll look after you buddy...
25th May

At 7am this morning, on their 20th day in the nest, one by one our blue tit chicks began to fledge.

In the photo sequence below a parent tries to coax them out with the promise of an insect.

The first 6 left the nest fairly quickly during the first hour and a half. And by about 9:30 there were only 2 chicks remaining. These appeared to have no intention of leaving the security of the nest, so by 1pm the parents were forced to re-start feeding them in the nest.

They were still there at 3pm but had disappeared by 4:30pm.



Still want more?...

...photos of birds in our garden

...take a look at this excellent site by David Jones ...

...and here is more info on blue tits

..and for propeller heads only, the tekkie page