The Frenzy of Nesting

When I put up a nest box years ago, I would have never imagined the joy it would bring. I’ve watched blue tits rearranging their furniture every spring, followed by the mysterious chirping of hungry bills and the secret fledging of new life. I always promise myself to set a camera in the box, and then I think about it again when it’s too late!

I cleared the box this winter, so that the new couple may rebuild their nest in a clean environment. This is the beauty I found when I opened it.

I’d happily take a nap in there myself, it looks so cosy! I find nests fascinating beyond belief. The architecture, the care in the choice of the materials, the strength obtained from such delicate organic elements. It’s mind-blowing. Again this year the female examined the place and vehemently defended it from other buyers. She flew in and out, carrying the necessary bits and pieces, although something tells me she may be a beginner …

We helped by leaving a bucket of soft dog’s hair (hubby is a groomer) in a peaceful spot of the garden. Many benefited from it, from sparrows to crows. Birds would use sheep wool, however, in its absence, I guess fluffy canine fur will do!

Blue tits usually lay their clutch at the end of April, which explains the excitement around the nest box over the past couple of weeks. The female will incubate for two weeks once the last egg is laid, with the male providing for her. May and June will be the busiest months, as new-borns will demand caterpillar after caterpillar, sending mum and dad back and forth at impressive speed. They will eventually fledge after three weeks, when I usually find a few downy feathers on the step at the entrance … and it all sounds too quiet.

But I’m running ahead now. It’s still early stages and I cannot wait for the whole process to unfold! I’ll soon keep my ear on it, waiting for those mini dinosaurs to fill the air with their chirp. To be continued …

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