Bluetit Diary    May 2013 (1)



Wednesday 1st May 2013

I think we have something rather unusual happening in Box2.  (Understatement of the year!)

But first Box1 where Kelly now has a clutch of 6 eggs.

This is the problem with Box2.  Yesterday there were 8 eggs in the nest box and today there are clearly at least 10.  As a bluetit can only lay 1 egg each day, then either yesterday's figure of 8 was wrong, in which case every egg total from the beginning was wrong, or two females must be laying an egg each in this box.

There can be no other conclusion, Scruff must have started egg laying as well as Sally!



Thursday 2nd May 2013


by the time Sally is sitting on the eggs, she must have started incubation.  I suppose incubation is triggered by having a large clutch of eggs to sit on.  Our previous experience of observing two females laying eggs in the one box has made us believe this.

Here's Scruff bringing nesting material into the nest box while Sally is sitting on the eggs.

There are clearly at least 12 eggs here.  Both females must still be laying one each day.



Thursday 3rd May 2013

Let's start with Box1.

feed for Kelly in Box1.

The males in both boxes seem to be pretty reliable so far.

There are now 8 eggs.  So far Kelly has laid 1 egg every day since she started.

Kelly seems to have started incubating the 8 eggs.  Will she lay a final egg tomorrow morning?

Back to Box2!

Another day and another two more eggs!  There are now 14 eggs in this nest!

Don't they look a gorgeous colour!

Sam is feeding Sally with one of the mealworms we put out each morning.  Sally is now incubating hard.  With 14 eggs under her she is bound to feel the urge to incubate them.

I wonder what Sam thinks is going on between the two females.  Is he even aware of it?  Is he mating with Scruff as well as with Sally? 

As long as he keeps on bringing food to the nest box does it matter?

Scruff comes into the box and Sally's immediate reaction is to beg for food!  Or is this really an aggressive response?  I'm sure the birds know the difference, but I'm not sure I do!

Anyway, Scruff decides she wants to sit on the eggs - so she sits on Sally!  (You can just see Sally's beak sticking out from beneath Scruff at the bottom left.)

Sally just ignores Scruff and stays put.  At the moment this strategy works but I am not sure whether it will continue to work when Scruff wants to incubate too!