Nesting box question


We're about more than just birds (though obviously we like them a lot).
Wildlife questions

Nesting box question

This question is not answered


Questions, from Switzerland, about 3 nesting boxes.

We have three boxes (of 6) which - up until a few days ago - were the subject of much activity (building) from great- and blue tits:

1. Wall mounted box in front courtyard of house (blue tits).

2. Wall mounted box in front courtyard of house (blue tits).

3. Box mounted in acer (great tits)-

Boxes 2 and 3 were successfully used last spring. I cleaned box 1 out - insect infestation in autumn of 2011.

It seems - looking from the outside only - that nests were being built in all three boxes until a few days ago. Now - during a colder spell (probably around freezing at night and upper 50s in the day (and wet) and significantly colder since a few days) - none of the boxes are being visited (building). I noticed that box 2 (used last year) is getting a lot of visits from large bees.

My question(s): is it normal that blue- and great tits build nests prior to laying eggs and that we see no activity at present?

Is the presence of bees (I've filmed the box for several hours and they - and not the birds - are frequent visitors) an indication of a potential problem?w

Should we just stop worrying and look after 'our' 5 hedgehogs (which hibernated successfully in our garden at -22 degrees following an extended autumn rescue procedure) instead :-)

Many thanks - Dave and Karin.

We can, of course, supply more information if necessary.

All Replies
  • Hiya Karin and Dave welcome to the forum from Sheffield..Northern England.

    It sounds like you have a great collection of nestboxes someone will be along that may tell you about their nest building habits.

    If it was me i would stop worrying and concentrate on the Hedgehogs you have (here in the UK they are in serious need of help), i have three visit the garden and spotted a youngster the other night.

    Any photos you have of your birds/wildlife we would love to see them..we're not just about the UK.

  • I'll bump this back up now the forum's busier to see if anyone else has anything to add.

  • Thank doggie, that's very kind.

    I'm originally from Liverpool and had an offer to go the Sheffield University (a long time ago) but turned it down and stayed in Liverpool for love.

    Re 'our' hedgehogs - we looked after five autumn juveniles and got them up to weight before releasing, including vet's visits and antibiotics. We're very happy to see them still with us and, it seems, pairing off (still a little early for babies here).

    Looking forward to hearing from anyone on the nesting box question.

    Best regards - Dave.

  • Hi Dave don't be put off by the lack of replies once they've all put the gin bottles down and sobered up they will get round to replying

  • Hi and welcome

    Sounds like you have bumble bees taking over one of your boxes, This is good, they have probably used the nest material for their own nest.

    sometimes things do go quiet after nest building, the birds could be laying and only visit daily to lay, then willstay quiet while brooding this has happened to coaltits nesting in my garden so I am also worried just now but keeping fingers crossed as I haven't seen them for about 4 days now.

    We also had a cold spell while the tits were nesting wich could have put them off


  • Well done Ray at least it shows there's not just me on the forum lol.

  • I'm here, too!

    I have nothing to add to what has been said, but welcome to the forum Karin and Dave. I'm in Lancashire

  • Thanks for the welcome Linda. That's very kind.

    Thanks for the information, Ray.

    Do you mind if we leave this open for a few days - see if anyone else has an opinion?

  • Hi Dave on this forum no threads are closed so you could get replies for years lol..if you have email alerts set you will get an email for every reply you get.

  • Also if you have any photos of the Wildlife/Birds etc over there you want to share we would love to see some.

  • that what the thread is all about, someone may know better .

     welcome,  and is there a chance of a photo of the bees,someone will identify


  • Thanks to you both. I've become, with age, quite low-tech, so I think the bee photo's going to be difficult. I managed to snap a harlequin ladybird lavae a few years ago with enough accuracy for the RHS to identify it for me... but then it wasnt' moving much at the time...

  • Loading photos on the forum is pretty straight forward even though it doesn't work everytime, if you want to have a go and post one have a read here try one in your thread nobody will mind if you click the "use rich formatting" link under last post.

    If not i hope you get someone using your boxes.