Are the blue tits near you nesting yet?

Lorienne Whittle, 28/03/2019

Earlier this spring two of our long-term recorders documented what it means to them to be part of Nature’s Calendar. We are pleased to share this video of Valerie and Greg exploring Londonthorpe Woods, looking out for species that can be recorded for Nature's Calendar and discussing the importance of tracking natural events. Please feel free to share your own experience of being a Nature’s Calendar recorder with friends and family and encourage them to  embark on a rewarding hobby at the same time as contributing to a long biological record that dates back as far as 1736. 

Whilst the time to see the first hazel catkins and snowdrops flowering has passed, there’s plenty of other activity to spot as spring progresses. You can use our handy phenological calendar to see what you can record throughout the year. It's in April that we normally start to receive records of blue tits feeding their young.

Have you spotted any busy blue tits yet?

Nature’s Calendar has received 104 records of blue tits nesting so far this year. These stretch across the UK from Cornwall, to the Isle of Anglesey and up to Stirling and West Lothian. Blue tits use a variety of nests from natural options such as holes and small cracks in trees to man-made structures and nest boxes, as can be seen below.

Catherine Smart

Shaun Bednall

Helen Holt

Finding the perfect place in which to raise your young is a tough decision. Seemingly it sometimes takes much deliberation by blue tits, as they can often be seen flying back and forth between numerous options before beginning to build their nest. To record ‘first nesting’ on Nature’s Calendar, look out for blue tits actively building their nest. This will be when they begin carrying bits of moss, leaves, feathers and animal hair to build a snuggly soft nest cup in which to lay up to 14 eggs.  

 

Find out more about blue tits nesting habits here.

 

Sarah Kesterson

Lee Bowles

Harry Packwood

Thank you to everyone who has submitted a blue tit record already and hopefully in the coming weeks you’ll also be able to add a record for blue tits ‘first feeding young’. Last year we had 340 records of blue tits ‘first nesting’ in total, going right up until the end of May. So there's plenty of time to spot nesting blue tits yet. One Nature's Calendar recorder has written in to say that no birds have started to nest in any of their seven boxes in Sussex. Hopefully our feathered friends will take up residence soon. We are also interested in when other birds such as great tits, rooks and blackbirds are making their first nests this year. 

You can see if records have been spotted in your area using our live maps.

Download our free desktop calendar to remind you to look out for blue tits this month.

An adult blue tit feeding baby blue tits in a nest.
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Join thousands of other people and let us know what's happening to wildlife near you.

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