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Nesting blue tits with more than 2 adults feeding!

I have nesting blue tits at the moment but things are a bit unusual and something I certainly haven't experienced before is happening.

In early Spring I noticed that at least 3 tits were building the nest. One of the tits spent most of it's time chasing a third tit around the garden, trying to prevent it putting nesting material in the nest.

Now there are chicks and I am certain that there are at least 3 tits bringing food to the nest. All the birds seem now to be content with this scenario. There may be 4 of them feeding but as all blue tits are the same, and I have only seen the 3 birds queueing up to go into the nest, I can't be sure about that.

Has anyone else heard of this behaviour? Is it unusual or is it common to have shared nesting like this?

Posts

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,232

    No, I've never heard of it. Here is a place where you could record it.

    http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/nbc

    They may be able to tell you more too.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Thanks Pansyface, I will definitely register my nest box.

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    It's not unknown for some birds including tits to raise second broods with the help of their first brood. It's not often observed but it is known about. First broods have fledged already so immature adults will often copy the behaviour of the parents prior to making the move away from the parents especially if there is an imbalance in either sex in the locality. This evens out during the year as the number of juveniles decrease. It's been a good year so far for raising chicks, so there may be a glut in adolescent birds in your area.  

  • Hi all , I have 3 blue tits going in and out of my nest box in the garden. I think 2 of them are the adults that mated for the first time last year and raised 2 chicks , but not sure if the 3rd tit  is a rival male or one of last year's babies that has stayed with it's parents. 

    Any ideas

    Last edited: 04 March 2017 10:36:47

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,255

    There was a nest on Springwatch (think it was last year) that had Blue tit and Gt tit eggs laid in it - can't remember the details but I think the bluetits ended up trying to rear the great tit chicks ... not sure if they fledged successfully, but I'm pretty sure the bluetit eggs didn't hatch. 

    Does anyone else remember?

    It might be worth posting a query on the Springwatch facebook page.

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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