HiWe have a nesting box with a camera on the wall of the house. A Blue Tit pair have built a nest and had a number of babies, not exactly sure of how many. Last night we noticed one of the babies was outside the nest on the floor of the box and struggling to get back in .... it then disappeared out of site of the camera. This morning it is visible on the floor of the box and appears to be dead .... but watching it for a few minutes it is breathing, but clearly hasn't been fed for at least 15 hrs. What should we do ? It is breaking our hearts to see this poor baby dying in front of our eyes ? Should we open the box ? ..... and remove the baby, or put it back in the nest ? Or should we just leave nature to take its course ?Any help greatly appreciated .....Darren
Hi Darren welcome to the forum.
We had many stories like yours last year of people seeing the same thing, i'm afraid there is nothing you can do but let nature take it course.If you disturbed the nest in any way they would abandon them all..and it's also illegal to disturb a nest.
I have Blue Tits feeding young at the minute and am blissfullyt unawre of the drama that could be happening in the box due to no camera.
Thank you very much for the advice. We did suspect we shouldn't do anything because of the fear that the parents would abandon the others. Its just so sad seeing this little baby no more than 2 inches from the parents, but they are totally unaware it is there. I guess if the nest was in a tree the baby would have fallen to the floor and probably died in any case.
One thing we now also know is that the camera needs to be repositioned oncve they have left the box as it doesn't show the back of the box ..... which is where the nest is!, so we only see a bit of what is happening!
Fingers crossed there are lots of healthy babies ....
I had them nesting last year in a box and when i cleaned it out last August the whole of the bottom of the box was lined with nesting material not just part of it so in my case nothing could have fallen out of the nest, it will be interesting to see what i find this year.
They have lined the whole of the floor of the nest box here too .... but the cup of the nest has a 1 inch (or so) lip that the baby could not get back over. We watched it struggling last night before it disappeared to the back of the box. Its interesting to hear all the activity when the father returns with food .... they all go mad!
There was no cup in this one just a flat bed of material.
Both my parents are busy feeding so i don't think they have long to go before they fledge here.
When they first built the nest and laid the eggs there didn't seem to be a cup in ours either, but as the days have gone by the cup has been built and is now quite large in the box. The babies have already got feathers, so i guess it'll be around 10-12 days before they leave now.
Good luck and i hope the rest all survive and you don't get anymore dramas.
Not all babies do survive and there isn't anything you can do exept let them get on with it.
This happens all the time but with camera boxes its just getting noticed more
If it's still there...
It's possible to hand-rear and save nestlings if you can get it to a wildlife hospital nearby. The first thing to do would be to get it warm as their system starts to shut down when they're cold and can no longer digest food properly. Try these websites for a local hospital:
We successfully reared these baby great tits in 2007
Unknown nestlings #1
They became these
They're great tits!
that means opening the box and could do more harm
Thanks for your feedback. Yes the poor little one is still outside its nest and still alive, but it hasn't moved for 6 or 8 hours now ..... you can just see it flick its wings every now and then. It genuinely is heartbreaking knowing it is going to die and nothing is being done to help it.
If we could get it without upsetting the other babies or parents we would, but that doesn't seem to be possible. We certainly don't want to put the other babies at risk by trying to save this one.
Ah.. for some reason I read the original post as "outside the nest box". Sorry. Shame the box isn't one you can open quickly to give the youngster a quick boost back in while the parents are away :(
There is no way we can get quick access without endangering the other babies, especially given that the mother is not leaving the nest at the moment. The father seems to be doing 80% of the food gathering, with the mother leaving the nest for short periods to help with food gathering. Its nature, we know that, but it doesn't make it any less sad to watch it dying .... just wish it would die quickly because that would remove the possibility of helping it.
We have the same in our nestbox - baby somehow ended outside the nest cup yesterday lunchtime. It definitely seems to be dead now. :( My question is whether the parents are likely to remove it - they've ignored it so far. It seems to me that a dead baby is likely to rot/attract flies etc.
I don't want to disturb the nest - and as another poster said, without the camera we'd be happily oblivious!
RossiCat - just noticed your question was a couple of days ago - how did it resolve?