A pair of breeding Blue Tits followed with a nest-box camera

(Copied from: www.irishbirding.com/NESTBOXCAM.html)

Here you will see a series of pictures of a pair of Blue Tits which began building a nest in a specially adapted nest-box which has a tiny infrared camera fitted in the roof.

Background: The nest-box is located against the trunk of a conifir tree in a garden in Howth, Co. Dublin. Activity was first noted in the box on 28 March 2002. All the images shown here are kindly supplied by Bill Quinn.
For more information on the special nest-boxes from BirdCam, Inverness, Scotland, visit the website http://www.birdcam.co.uk

These colour photographs show the location of the box and one of the pair attempting some modification of the entrance hole. Interestingly, another pair of Blue Tits and a pair of Great Tits nesting in ordinary boxes in the same garden also spent some time performing similar tasks. The infrared images below are taken using heat sensitivity rather than light and are only available in black&white.
The images here show the birds on 28 March as they began bringing nesting material into the box and forming the basic nest structure. 29 March
1 April. All fluffed up and asleep ! 28 April. Three eggs have been laid. 30 April. Five eggs have now been laid.
30 April. Getting down to the serious business of brooding all those eggs ! 3 May. Seven eggs now present. Is this the full clutch or will there be more ? 18 May. The chicks hatched sometime between 16 - 17 May while the householders were away.
21 May. All 7 chicks are visible and are apparently doing well. They are also keeping their parents busy with constant demands for food. 29 May. Rapidly outgrowing the available space the chicks have already aquired their first set of juvenile feathers 1 June. When not engaged in the search for food the parents keep a watchful eye for predators.
3 June. Only 5 chick have been seen in recent days. Already their plumage pattern resembles that of their parents. 3 June. The remaining chicks regularly exercise their wings and are very active, eager to see the outside world !
5 June. By 7.00 am two of the chicks had left the box. At 7.15 the third remaining chick departed and at 9.00 the fourth left leaving just one ... A little bit of encouragement from one of the parents and ..... At 9.08 am the last chick left to join it's siblings in the big world outside !
Many thanks to Bill and Heather Quinn who have kept a watchful eye on the nestbox and supplied all the photos here.
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