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Empty Nest Syndrome


By jan65


I can’t believe what a great day this has been!

Last year we put up a bird box that my daughter had made. We put it on the kitchen wall which is just in front of our patio doors. We didn’t know if it was too close to the main house, but believe it or not, the very next day we had some blue tits showing an interest in it. Unfortunately it was too late in the year for nesting but we hoped that as they’d been interested, we’d maybe get them nesting this year.

Any road up … this year we had a pair of blue tits AND a pair of great tits fighting over it. The great tits won and for the past few weeks we’ve watched them going in and out. We weren’t too sure when they’d laid the eggs, but realised that babies must have hatched when they started to take insects and caterpillers etc into the box.

These great tits have worked tirelessly feeding their babies constantly, in and out, in and out, for the past couple of weeks.

But it wasn’t until just a few days ago that we heard the babies squawking whenever the parents were near.

Then we heard scrabbling.

Then, today, earlier this afternoon, we saw a little face peeping out. Then again.

It kept doing this for a while, but we didn’t expect … whoosh! All in a flurry, it left the nest! It flew over the fence and into next door’s garden. Then within seconds another one launched itself! And this time I managed to get a very short video of it! Woohoo! Unfortunately I can’t post the video.

The next hour was nerve wracking. We thought there was just one more baby left. We could hear it squawking, and scrabbling, and squawking again, and we even saw its face a few times, but it just didn’t seem brave enough to go that final step. Then I thought I saw TWO faces. Two more babies, not just one!

Then … as my daughter and I sat about six feet away, watching, one suddenly plucked up its courage, squeezed itself out of the hole – we saw its feet clutching the sides – and wheeee! Off it went in a flutter.

Then much to our great surprise, another TWO flew out, one after the other! Five babies in total!

We managed to follow a couple of the babies as they fluttered around the garden. They were so comical, fluffy and ruffled and so unsteady. One flew right past my daughter, which thrilled her no end.

And so the nest is now empty, and despite the day’s excitement now we all feel a little bit sad! No more mum and dad flying in and out with caterpillars. No more squawking and squabbling. No more cheeky faces peeping out to brighten our days.

Oh, well, roll on next year!

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How honoured you must feel Jan,you never know they may be back to start another brood before long :) Good parents to rear 5 chicks too.

5 Jun, 2010


I do feel privileged Aster, I forgot to put that at the end! Especially since my dad, who's had bird boxes forever, told me that most babies fly the nest early in the morning and you rarely get to see it happen. It was absolutely wonderful.

5 Jun, 2010


Aw what a lovely story!
edge of the seat stuff when they start to fly ... we had blue tits doing the same ... my husband texted me from the garden ... 'quick - a baby has fallen out of the bird house!' & I replied 'pick it up & put it back before the cats see it!'. Glad your family all got off successfully!

5 Jun, 2010


How lovely to actually see the babies take flight , I can remember years back we used to have bluetits nest in our old plum tree but never ever saw the babies take flight,unfortunately we lost that tree and the bluetits never used our box again even though we tried it in various places.
Lovely blog and photo`s...........

5 Jun, 2010


great jan .It's lovely to watch all the activity at this time of the year.Have you thought about putting a camera in the box next year,you would be amazed what happens in there.

6 Jun, 2010


Dont feel sad! The babies will stick around for a bit if you have food out and you can put up another box for next year!

6 Jun, 2010


If its anything like my empty nest!!! they will be back and back and back and bac---

6 Jun, 2010


Thanks for all your comments! Next year we are definitely putting a camera in there and I can't wait to see what happens!

6 Jun, 2010


That's so lucky for you, I would love to have that experience! Your bird box will play host to many more families I'm sure!

10 Jun, 2010

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