Forum home Wildlife gardening

First Time Bird Box Tenants

Sam80Sam80 North HampshirePosts: 40

Good Morning

I was just wondering if anyone had any advice for me please.  I put 3 bird boxes up in my garden last year and there was very little interest in them.  But this weekend I noticed a couple of bluetits flying in and out of one of them so I guess they are setting up a nest.  I noticed some string I had in the garden has been nibbled at so have put some short pieces of string in a fatball feeder and hung it up on the feeder tower with a few cotton balls (I can't put my hair in it as it's dyed or the cats hair as he has a drip-on flea treatment and apparently that is bad for them?). 

Anything else I can do for them? Has anyone got any tips for my new tenants?  Do I just leave them to it now?  How long before I hear the gentle tapping of egg shell?

Thanks :)


«1

Posts

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,531
    edited May 2019
    Congratulations, I have had a nestbox for four years and it has never been used.  If you can afford to offer them some mealworms, they will be good for the chicks. Especially if they are pre-soaked, as nestlings don't have access to water and have to get it all from their food.  Even seed eaters need insects for their young, as they don't have the grit in their crops that is necessary to grind up seeds.
  • BrexiteerBrexiteer Birmingham Posts: 955
    I had no interest in mine for about 5 years so congratulations. I would remove the string and Cotton wool as the birds feet will probably get caught up in them. I heard a story years ago of a family of great tits had died in the box because their legs were caught up in man made fibers. They will use dead grass moss and spiders webs. In fact when you empty the box you will notice it's mainly moss
  • Sam80Sam80 North HampshirePosts: 40

    Oh thank you - I have mealworms, I didn't think to soak them. Will remove the string and cotton wool straight away.  Much appreciated


  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,878
    If they've chosen to use your box then it's a good sign that their needs are met nearby. Just make sure the adults have easy access to food and water to keep them fueled up as they look for food for the chicks. Great tits seem to take live mealworms for the chicks but the bluetits don't seem to bother with them. They mostly give them caterpillars and aphids I think so as long as there's plenty of trees nearby they should be fine.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • matt_fendermatt_fender Posts: 169
    Congrats on getting a tenant this year - I had a pair last year, but none in any of our three boxes this year, despite lots of visits prior to nesting season.
    I wouldn't do anything now, but you could put live mealworms or waxworms (better - these are smaller but more expensive) out for them once the chicks have hatched. You'll need to make sure any live worm feeder is starling proof, or they won't last long.
    I don't know if I am allowed to link here, but we have a forum where we discuss almost nothing but bird boxes (UK based, not commercial in any way). Anyway the link is https://birdboxdiaries.boards.net/ and you'll get advice from people far more knowledgeable than I and also lots of posts with people's images and videos from camera equipped nest boxes.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,633
    My bird boxes have been visited, but only for bug hunting, until last year when a Wren (male) filled it with nesting (mainly moss) but no takers. This year he was back and after a spruce up it took two weeks but then yes we have a resident,  so maybe three weeks brooding and three weeks growing and then fledglings I hope to join the garden compliment of baby robins, blackbirds, and sparrows all wandering around being fed. I do like spring.😁
  • Sam80Sam80 North HampshirePosts: 40
    Thank you so much for all your help and the link, I will definitely check that out.  I am so excited :#
  • Sam80Sam80 North HampshirePosts: 40
    @matt_fender - Thanks for that link, found an interesting short documentary on bluebirds nesting that was really informative!
  • BrexiteerBrexiteer Birmingham Posts: 955
    My bird boxes have been visited, but only for bug hunting, until last year when a Wren (male) filled it with nesting (mainly moss) but no takers. This year he was back and after a spruce up it took two weeks but then yes we have a resident,  so maybe three weeks brooding and three weeks growing and then fledglings I hope to join the garden compliment of baby robins, blackbirds, and sparrows all wandering around being fed. I do like spring.😁
    Unusual to get wren's in a box 
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,633
    Two years before they nested in the ivy behind the box, but that area is busy with sparrows this year. As it's the female who chooses I thought she must have chosen one of his other nests last year.
Sign In or Register to comment.