Last I reported, our Great Tit squatters were building a home for their future chicks. Over the last two months, we followed their progress, watching the faithful parents come and go, at first to keep watch over the incubating eggs, and later with beaks full of scrumptious grub for the little hatchlings. Every now and then, we’d venture out onto the balcony armed with squinting eyes and a camera, and stealthily tiptoe over to the vase and snap a few shots. What we found was extraordinary! The vase was full of little hatchlings! Our approach and the flash of the camera triggered an automatic reaction: they would open their little beaks expecting them to be filled with worms and other delicacies. We disappointed on that end, but we did come out with a few snapshots of the little fledglings. Over time, we started hearing other “voices.” It soon became apparent that the little ones were chirping with vigor, harping for more food…more food…more food. Mama and Papa Tit could barely keep up with the pace, their rate of return was so high. It was clear that the fledglings were growing stronger and preparing for flight.
Some time past, and before we could imagine, the nest was empty. At the beginning of May, we took a peak in the vase and were astonished to find a single Great Tit. No eggs. No Fledglings. Just one Great Tit. Our immediate assumption was that this was the last hatchling and he or she was taking his time to leave the nest.
Today I’m not so sure that was case.
Over the last week, we’ve noticed Papa Tit making and his rounds on the porch, coming and going, chirping relentlessly. We thought that he just may be struggling with his newfound status as an empty-nester. But something just didn’t seem right. So, yesterday, we ventured out yet again with camera in tow to snap a shot into the depths of the vase.
And lo and behold! We were astonished to discover no less than 6 fresh Tit eggs! All the pieces came together, especially when we looked more carefully and noticed Papa Tit’s beak full of grub as he dove into the vase to feed his beloved and dedicated wife as she nurtures and protects her unborn fledglings until the next hatching.
And the cycle begins again.
More updates to follow…