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Elizabeth and Malcolm's Bluetit Pages
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Introduction...and some questions.

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Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 564
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:59 pm    Post subject: Introduction...and some questions. Reply with quote

Hi all, Just registered and wanted to say hello. Very Happy

This is my first year with a camera nest box. I put it up on the 3rd January onto the side wall of my house, north-east facing.

It is an Aldi camera nest box and it currently set up for Blue/Coal/Grey tits with the hole in the front.

I have a second open fronted Aldi nest box (not a camera one) which I placed only last week, on a lower wall, very well secluded in some Clematis, also north-east facing. I'm hopeful for Robins or even Wrens in this one.

For weeks and weeks there was no interest in camera house...absolutely NOTHING....until last Thursday morning at about 8am, there was a few visits from a Blue tit to the entrance of the camera box, as far as I know, there hasn't been any birds go into the house yet?

It was mostly just a bit of pecking, tweeting and then flying away. Then nothing until yesteday, when around 10:30am there was a brief visit again from a Blue Tit. I noticed on these very few occasions it happened to be nice and bright and sunny, and slightly warmer than the previous days. But since the cold snowy weather has kicked in again, its all gone quiet again. Is there definitely a connection to more activity in brighter weather?

As its a very cold March will this delay things so?

I'm ever hopeful that they'll settle. They simply won't go in to the house...I was worried then that perhaps the hole is too small????

Anyway, some questions on the location of my camera box:

1.My camera box is placed along the side of a plain brick L-shaped wall, there are two windows below either side of it with window sills, but there is no foliage. Its high enough up that predators can't get at it i.e cats, and sheltered by the eaves from above, but it is also near to my back door, which is at the end of the same wall that the bird house is placed.

I can view the bird house looking out onto the wall, from my kitchen window...So, although the back door is there, its still a relatively quiet, unpedestrianised corner. But is this too close to the house do you think? Will it be unattractive/ too risky for them?

2. Are birds happy to nest in a location where there is no branches for the fledglings anyway?

3. Before I read up on this forum, I had put a tiny amount of moss in the house. Was this a total mistake? (This is the reason I think no bird has entered the house, as the moss hasn't moved an inch)

Anyway, should I try and remove it or leave it alone and hope for the best. I don't want to be tampering with it at such a critical time. Will it ruin my chances?

Many thanks!!!

Chat soon,
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Joined: 15 Mar 2013
Posts: 1304

PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:53 pm    Post subject: Don't Worry! Reply with quote

Hi there,
Just to respond to some of your concerns regarding the sighting & usage of your boxes. As long as they are facing the correct way and high up the wall away from preditors etc you should not be too concerned. Blue Tits will nest anywhere if they get the right conditions and it seems that you have given them all that so all the best for a successful season. Robins like more cover and do not like to be too high, about 6ft max.
I have a similar experience with a bird visiting since 7th Feb every day twice a day and doing nothing but looking in. Then at the end of the month she went in and started pecking the inside before flying off. She then visited twice daily expressing same behaviour until last weekend when she brought in some strands of dry grass which she did nothing with except a few nesting wriggles and asking the male to come in to the box with her. Well everyone needs some privacy you know!
Howard and Hilda are waiting I think for spring to arrive and for the emergence of moth caterpillers on the nearby oak trees. They won't begin to seriously nest until they see that the leaves are bursting and the grubs forming and there is an elevation in temperature. Nesting ritual can go on for several weeks and birds in the north will probably be behind a little to those in the south.
My box is positioned 12 ft up and 4 ft from a bedroom window. They take no notice of me when I go into the room and look out. However, when I see them bringing in more material I shall be more discreet so as not to disturb them at this crucial time as Blue Tits generally only get one chance at a nest.

Hope this helps.
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Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 564
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply Blueeyedchick!

Its nice to hear your experience with your box...looking forward to hearing all about Hilda and Howard! Very Happy Gorgeous little things, aren't they!

I had posted excitedly on the 'Birdbox' thread last week, that I had a proper visit into the house of two Bluetits, they had a real good look around, I even got photos....but that was it. Nothing AGAIN!!

This visit from the Bluetits directly coincided with that one day last week that we had a lovely bit of sun and some marginally warmer weather, and the next day we were hit with another really cold snap.

So, I am truly beginning to think that this inactivity is due to the unusual snowy weather that Ireland is getting...its really quite cold and the snow, while its not that heavy, is persistent every morning, although its gone by the afternoon. The frost and ice are just not clearing up.

On a morning over the weekend, I noticed a 'Coal Tit' was watching the house from a local telephone wire... it flew down to the house and was hanging onto the entrance, only to be interrupted by a flock of crows. It flew away to my disappointment. However, since then I've notice a pair of 'Coal Tits' hanging around the garden alot, and constantly feeding on the feeders down the end of the garden.

To my over active imagination it looks to me like they have one eye on the birdhouse the whole time. I also have a pair of 'Blue Tits' doing the same. But they don't seem to be as interested in the birdbox as the 'Coal tits.' (In my crazy mind)

There has been alot more activity on the bird feeders in the past few days...with more frequent visits from several Goldfinches, Greenfinches and Sparrows. I hadn't seen that many Sparrows in ages, usually one or two. I seem to only have the one pair of Blue tits and one pair of Coal Tits...oh and there is a pair of 'Great Tits' too. But they have definitely not even looked at the birdhouse. They are obviously set up elsewhere.

I also am now getting visits from Ring collared Doves which is lovely.

My open fronted nest box is still empty....although I have two sets of Robins in the garden always visiting and a little wren is constantly around the place.

Anyway, thats me so far. I have some software set up on my Pc with a USB video grabber device, so I'm hoping I'll catch a few nice pictures and some short videos...but I have to be sitting there watching with my finger over the record button.

I was hoping to find some motion detection software with sound and image, but I can't seem find such a thing...its usually only image, also I'm having problems trying to get them to work on my laptop??? I've tried a few free software trials, but I'm obviously doing something wrong.

Anyway, I've typed way too much!!!! Razz Roll on the warmer days!!!

Chat soon,
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