Day 17 - now they look like blue tits
I can't wait until I can show you live footage of baby blue tits breeding, you will be absolutely amazed as I have been over the last few weeks. I just took delivery of a brand-new HD IP camera which I plan on installing and the bird box. If everything goes to plan I will be able to live stream footage over the Internet so everybody can watch the blue tits breed.
So, how are my little guys doing? Absolutely incredible, they must be almost ready to fledge any day now. There's definitely one that is bigger than the rest and he tends to get the lion's share of the food. I was rather worried about one of the blue tits that didn't seem to be getting much food and he didn't seem to be begging for food every time the adults came back. However, after watching for a while I can see that the adults did make an effort to make sure everyone got something to eat. So with any luck all the four baby should fledge. Whether they survive after leaving the box is anybody's guess. I think the mortality rate amongst baby blue tits is very high and I'll be very surprised if any more than one or two of this brood survive to reach a year.
Originally, the female laid 10 eggs of which four have hatched. Because this is the first time I have experienced blue tits breeding I couldn't really say for sure how many eggs normally hatch and how many don't. However, if all 10 eggs had hatched then this little box would have been extremely cramped and I really don't know how they would have managed because even with four babies there is not an awful lot of room in there now.
I strongly suspect that my next post will be to report that they have fledged and left the nesting box. Strangely, that's going to be quite a sad day for me because I really enjoyed the last few weeks watching them. However, I'm quite sure there will be a new chapter and I will be able to allow a lot more people to get enjoyment with this brand-new HD camera.