Sad great tit news

I have been away from Saturday morning until Sunday night and returned late afternoon to check my nest boxes. All looked ok in all, but one… the Discovery nest box… the one with the 5 chicks which hatched on the 28th April, so these chicks were just over a week old. I had recorded them all looking healthy and well on Friday night, but today all five chicks were dead in the nest box. I looked back at my recorded footage… Friday night showed them all gaping…. but although I recorded for about ten minutes I noticed today, they were not fed in this period. They were still alive on Saturday morning as I had a quick look before I went away. I just can’t understand what happened, but these chicks had starved to death I feel.

I had to empty the nest box, as I could not leave them in there, so I unscrewed the front and carefully removed the nest. The chicks were perfectly formed, but were all dead, some died whilst still  gaping. I was surprisingly upset by this. When you watch these families from the very beginning, I find myself getting very involved in their lives and it was really quite distressing to see these tiny lives taken so early. Their feathers had just started coming through and they looked really healthy. I can only presume that something happened to the parents… either they were killed (but BOTH of them?) or something scared them sufficiently for them to abandon their five chicks.

It is just so sad that this happened whilst I was away. I was teaching all Friday, so did not watch the nest box to see if parents were feeding then. If I had been at home then, or over the weekend, I would have quickly realised something was wrong. The question is though, what would I have done about it…. I have a feeling that I would have been unable to watch them die and I would have attempted top hand raise them… probably causing more heartache for myself.

I know that it is Nature’s way…. but that does not make it any easier to accept. A sad day.



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