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Old 04-04-15, 12:27 PM
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Default Blue Tit nest box behaviour

Hi,

We have a camera installed in a nest box which, although Blue Tits are not yet nesting, they're in and out a lot and I've observed some behaviour which I don't quite understand and then this morning I saw something which was rather alarming.

I've uploaded the video clips to YouTube and linked to them here which I trust is OK with forum rules etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL73FYl0d78

The first clip is behaviour we've seen a lot - the birds seem to be obsessed with picking at the sawn edges of the wood, where there are little splinters, I guess I can understand this as if they were nesting naturally, they'd probably prepare the area in which they were building a nest but the behaviour I cannot fathom is the dipping down and flapping across the bottom of the box. The bird is always alone when this happens so it's definitely not a display or reaction to another bird. Is this also something that may be connected with preparing the nest site ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOYJQH7Vnz8

The second clip is behaviour I've only just seen this morning and I was surprised at how violent it was. Is this anything to do with mating or is it, for example, two males or two females fighting over who gets to use the nest box ?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Nick
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Old 12-11-15, 09:06 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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A bit late in the day but I've just come across this post.

The first video I think is just the bird checking out the strength and rigidity of the nest cavity, and the wing flapping is to test it's size I think. Remember most nest will be in tree cavities, and often tits will excavate the cavity a bit more. Also the fledglings will replicate this flapping just before they leave so it is important they can do so without damaging their flight feathers.

The second I think is a classic occupancy battle. Blue and Great tits populations in much of the country are now limited by nest cavity availability, and a prime opportunity like this will be contested. If the nest hole size permits Blue tits can be evicted by Great tits, although they are pugnacious little beggars and do not give up a good hole easily.

Hope you saw a brood fledge this year.

Mick
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