Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Sunday, 22 May 2011

Blue Tits leave the nest box

The feeding activity at the nest box has been getting very much busier the last few days. Late yesterday, it was becoming quite frantic.





Food was arriving every few seconds,




small heads were stretching from the opening, and a couple of local cats were taking a keener interest than usual. Jim made a good job of being on guard duty, and keeping them out of the garden.

I felt today might be the day they would leave the nest.

I made my usual morning visit to the local lake, but kept thinking about the Blue Tits back home. It's seven days earlier than last year, when they left the nest, but I was certain today was going to be the day.

I came back home. I didn't want to miss the big moment.


Last year it all happened about 9 a.m., and very quickly.
I got home just after 7 a.m., and feeding was in full swing.





Juicy caterpillars were going down by the truck load, the adult birds were constantly calling, and little babies were almost falling out of the nest box hole.




Then the first one launched himself like a missile, into the bushes at the bottom of the garden. The next followed pretty quickly, as the adults continued their encouragement, by calling, and fetching food.




The bottom of the garden soon resembled a crèche, as it began to fill with baby Blue Tits.
I counted 11 altogether, and something I found interesting during all this activity; at times the adult female would 'beg' some food from the male, by fluttering her wings.




He would respond by feeding her whatever he had at the time. (I guess a sort of  'bonding' display.) 
Sometimes she would eat it, and other times she would take it to one of the young, and feed it.

A fascinating and rewarding morning, and one I'm glad I managed to witness, and capture with pictures and video.




The big world awaits! Good luck!



41 comments:

  1. Brilliant photography, you had them leaving their nest, that's wonderful.

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  2. Thanks Bob. It was great to watch it all happen.

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  3. Oh wow, Keith. What an absolutely lovely set of pictures.

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  4. Gees you and Jim are just like uncles!! Great post. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  5. I remember admiring that great bird box last year and the birds love it too. Is it a myth that the blue tit chest colouring is due to the amount of catapillars they scoff? Third and last pic cor....

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  6. Thanks Emma. :)

    Cheers Gary lol

    Thanks Debbie. Yea, second year they've used it now.
    The caterpillar thing is apparently true.

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  7. 11 in that one nesting box? wow! i can't imagine how they all managed to get fed and grow! i just picture one big fat one taking all the food and blocking the doorway for all the others. :)

    they are just so cute! thanks for sharing this experience! i hope the neighborhood cats will spare them!

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  8. Amazing! Thank you for this!

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  9. Super video and the stills are smashing too. The adults are looking really ragged now aren't they. The gape-mouthed fledglings are so sweet.

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  10. Amazing and what a privilege to watch them leave the nest. Those too little ones in the tree are a cuteness overload!!

    Great pictures of a very special time for the new family.... and you :D

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  11. A stunning post Keith, a real triumph! The photos and video are wonderful and your prediction of when they would leave was spot on.

    Really glad to read Jim has been appointed head guard :)

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  12. Great series of photos Keith.

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  13. Such a nice serie! Really lovelly images ;)

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  14. Congratulations!!You are as proud as the papa---great family photo album too--I cant beleive 11 CHICKS?? wow that is amazing.

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  15. Excellent footage and pics ... just a great event to witness. You suceeded where I failed!!

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  16. Great post Keith. It always pays to go with your instincts. :)
    Lets hope all those litlys make it.

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  17. Soooooo sweet Keith !!! Glad you could catch this wonderful moment this year too :) Your photos are awesome !

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  18. texwisgirl, thank you. It's amazing to think there were so many.
    Those parents are still working hard now, feeding them all.

    Jillsy, thank you. :)

    Thanks Toffeeapple. The adults will be glad of a rest soon.

    Tricia, thank you. I think I was as excited as the parents, as the young ones began leaving the nest.

    Jan, thank you. I had a feeling today was the day, after yesterdays coming and going.
    Jim was a great guard. Kept well back, and watched out for any cats.

    Thanks Roy. It was hard to just pick these ones; I took so many.

    Dominic, thank you. :)

    Thanks Sondra. Yea, I was grinning the whole time lol

    Cheers Frank. One of nature's great moments.

    Thanks Trevor. I hope they all survive. :)

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  19. Thank you Pescalune. I'm glad I saw it all again this year.

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  20. Fabulous Keith. Superb still shots and a great record of them leaving the nest. The parents must be well and truly frazzled feeding 11 hungry youngsters.

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  21. Thanks John. I really felt privileged to see it all this morning. I bet those parents will be glad when they can feed themselves.

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  22. Hi Keith,
    What a fantastic set of photo`s! The chicks should have a warning due to `high cuteness`!
    I am hoping that I won`t miss mine fledge this year (I did last year), here`s keeping my fingers crossed!
    J
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

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  23. Very interesting photos. My favourite is the seventh with the baby Blue Tits.

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  24. What a wonderful post, Keith. Stunning stills and exciting video. Glad to hear Jim is still on duty. You hadn't mentioned him much lately, and I wondered.

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  25. A true leap of faith and I'm so glad it turned out well for all of the little ones. :)

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  26. Thanks John. It was a great sight to see. I hope you get to watch yours.

    Thanks Kozma. Such little beauties aren't they. :)

    Thanks Linda. Yea Jim is fine; getting older and slower like me lol

    Thanks Nancy. Big challenges ahead for them now.

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  27. Wonderful collection of images and amazing video. I love that you knew.. you sensed that this was the day and time. You're in tune.. of this I have no doubt. Thank you for sharing this.

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  28. Congratulations Keith! I feel like I should be putting 11 pairs of booties and a card in the post for you. Beautiful post.

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  29. Thanks Hilary. Yea, I had a real strong feeling they would fledge when they did.

    Thanks Omi. I must admit, I did feel like a proud dad watching it all lol

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  30. That is one of the loveliest sequences I've ever seen on a blog. Just amazing! That comment above about the booties" is pretty funny, but I bet you really did feel like a proud dad. I'm so glad you got back on time to witness this and thank you so much for sharing. I'm going back later to watch the video. (small house, somebody else (LOL) is watching TV!)

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  31. Awesome images and video. Lovely looking birds.

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  32. Brilliant sequence Keith. Glad that you managed to see them leave.

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  33. Hi Keith...I was away for a couple of days to attend my granddaughters college graduation...and just getting to comment!!
    Ooooh my Keith this is fabulous...wonderful, just wonderful...the photo of the two cuties on the branch is just to die for....very nice photos and video!!
    Hugs my friend..miss you ♥

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  34. Thanks Sallie. An amazing experience; I'm glad I could share it all.

    Thanks Horst. A great moment.

    Thanks Adam. Yea, I'm glad I managed to see it all.

    Thanks grammie. Hope you had a great time. :)

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  35. The photos and the video really are super! Is 11 a normal clutch for the Blue Tit?

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  36. Thanks Jean.
    Blue Tits can have up to a dozen young, so this pair did really well. A lot of mouths to feed though.

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  37. The pictures and narrative kept me glued to my seat in anticipation of what would happen! I love that Jim protected the little birds from the cats! LOL! Go Jim!

    Fabulous post! :)

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  38. A bit late with my comment Keith but what a lovely series of images of your new family.
    A beautiful post.

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  39. Super post Keith.
    A fantastic subject Very well captured and presented

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  40. Thanks Jen. It was an exciting morning, and Jim played his part perfectly. :)

    Thanks Andrew. I'm falling behind with everything too lol

    Dave, thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  41. I don't know why, but I love these birds. These are great shots. Beautiful little birds.

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