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May -3- 2010

May 19th

.The idyllic peace of the last photo of the day did not last. Last night, all were restless. The nest looks like this huge mess at the left.

20h: still a small head at the door, that of "super tit" of course...

The mother then passes at 20:30 then at 21:00 as usual.
They are slow to get sleep. These feathers itch terribly, they scratch long time.
Finally, peace returns.

It is beautiful, very beautiful, this morning of the 19th. Not a cloud, ideal. 10 °C -19 °C. Just a little north wind a little cool.

Mom passes briefly at 6 and 6:30 am for a first quick breakfast but did not stay long and did not clean the nest as thoroughly as usual.

She won't come back until 7:10, then 7:28 to feed them, then 8:10, about every half hour or three-quarters of an hour.
7:50, dad has an exchange with a nosy... he will tell you a little later...


7:30 a first little head appears at the door. The same for sure!
8:45 everyone is asleep.


8:57. Another delivery. They work in pair.


Then both parents leave. It is 9am.


"Super tit" gets to the door, immediately.


And stays there and makes it known. She waits.


And she will stay until she finally dares.

Do I go? I'm tired of waiting ... I'm ready, isn't? Too bad for the parents, even if they grumble, I go.

The parents are not there, this little one is the only one to dare...


...make the leap. It is 9:18 am.

It is rare. Other years, each time parents were present and began by calling with much shouting to encourage the chicks, perched beside the nest, from time to time going to the entrance. Nothing like today. They just hummed a little this morning; no calls..

Uneventful landing. It will remain quietly on the terrace, just a little exploration, just to visit, a nice visit anyway. It will find his parents back ten minutes later.

Not enough time this evening to present his adventures and those of his brothers and sisters. They are in pictures and videos, which is a bit long to treat for a presentation.

Five chicks will fly off between 9:15 am and 9:50 am.

Oh yes! Five because..

. is still with us.

Watch VIDEO   (448ko, 22s)

Housekeeping of the nest is a bit neglected; mom and dad don't have enough time.

But he does well. His parents feed him regularly; he begins to exercise its wings and once came to the door. I think it is still too small to go out, probably the one who was born on 1st May, two full days after the others.

Five new small tits begin their new life, good luck to them. I do not know where the parents took them, they quickly left the terrace and strangely we have only heard them one or two times this day. Usually they are in the garden below, where there are large trees, it is a good place. But not this time. There are too much "bad guys": magpies, crows and cats (even jays this year!).

The sequel of their first adventures tomorrow! And the probable exit of number six...

May 23th

I intended to present the rest of the brood these days, but number six has decided otherwise. Here is his story of the three previous days. This is only a postponement for the fly off of the others.

This part was written "live", and latter a little edited.

May 20th

Sunny, 10°C-20°C


Number 6 quietly installed. Alone.


Breakfast at the usual time, it is 6h.

The parents came to feed him regularly. At 10h here it is the meal.

.Then, I see him a few minutes later get up, flap his wings and hook directly to the door.


He does not hesitate for long and leaps.

But he can not fly, clings to a perch, and can no longer cling and tumbles to the ground. It is 10:08.


.In fact, he can not fly and does not seem to stand well be on his legs. He could not grip the perch he had chosen.
It is feathered; the bill has lost much of the yellow as is normal.

He seems to stand "on the elbows", and walk in this curious position, is it temporary or because he is too young? He is so small. 


No parent is present at his coming out.

He called once or twice, then fled and went to hide between one of our big pots and the wall at the back. A narrow place. I heard him move on the dead leaves. Then nothing. A little tit-tit and that's all. Impossible to locate. Obviously he can not fly or even stand. Here I am waiting to see if the parents return, they will find him and get him out... if he decides to call. He is in no danger, hiden on the balcony.

.11 am. Parents have not returned. To encourage their presence I have a nice supply of mealworms, to make sure they come back to the balcony.

11:30 this is the mother, she goes directly to the nest, found no one, the youngster chirps a little while, she search, listens, looks behind the pot, and then gives up and goes away.

Sometime later the chick gets out and hides under a pot, even harder to access. Well, I just think it is there, because I have not seen hide but I heard a weakly a moment.

The mother comes back, looks a little, he called once, she looks approximately in his direction, listen and leaves. He does nothing to meet her. And this idiot doesn't calls while usually you heard the young chickadees without interruption. He is silent. The mother will come back ten times, without ever seek or go down once to the place where the chick is hidden or even approach. She returns to the nest 2-3 times. Time passes. 

Early afternoon, 14h, he has not still been found. The mother insists on looking at several occasions in the nest box and seems not to recognize him elsewhere. Besides, he no longer calls at all for over two hours. We decide to find him.

Well, I do know well that doing so is to get involved, of course it would be better to be able to avoid it, but frankly it's not easy to let him end in a corner on the balcony, dying from hunger.

Everything must be removed over a portion of the terrace. I think it is hidden in my stock of flower's pots. You must go slowly, inspecting every nook and pots and I assure you that his colour is well chosen: hard, hard to see. Finally I found him. We put him back in the nest; it gets out instantly and flees to hide. We suspected, once freed, it is excluded that they return to the nest.

.So, out of sheer desperation, that's five hours he did not eat, we decide to put him in a large box open at the top, outside, clearly visible by the mother. A box high enough so that he cannot jump outside unless he's ready to go out and can fly without problem.

But curiously the mother is not interested, yet it is just where she often goes! She will see in the nest box, again! The father also. She has other chores.

Never mind! We put box directly under the nest and against it, not easy the installation, but we cope.

The old gnarled branches of the bignonia that I do not cut at this location to serve as perches for birds come back to our rescue. The mother comes to 5 or 6 times, meal worms in his mouth, looks in the box, she hesitates, the chick calls and opens its beak, it is very calm, seems at ease and do not try to leave. She doesn't dare to descend into the box?

We cannot put a smaller box, or it might get out and go back into hiding in the pots where the mother will look for him even less.


14:30 on the mother left. 3:15 p.m. she is not back yet. I tried putting a little food, he can not eat alone but it can motivate parents, peanuts, mealworms.

3:20 p.m. the mother arrives, rushes to the box, perches, stands ready to go down but goes away. Twice ... A third (15.30) and this time it's GOOD, finally, she comes down, grabs a peanut that I put in the box spring without caring for the chick. Damn! But she returned a little later and she finally comes to him.

She feeds the chick! She gets out immediately and leaves, I hope he was be able to eat a little; he was fasting since five an a half hours.

Watch VIDEO   (487ko, 37s)

(The mother is on the edge, ready to go down.)


3:50 p.m. he or she arrives, looks in the nest box, I think it's him. He finally goes down and nothing: he leaves. Finally, around 16:30 an adult goes into the box and this time it's really to feed the chick properly. He will eat four meals comporting two mealworms. 5:30 p.m. it seems to go well, the adults pass regularly, at least the mother, because the father has not yet understood that he is NOT ANYMORE in the nest box and insist to look for him there!


Mom is smarter and now no longer hesitates to jump directly inside without looking. Well, at least he ate. It always seems to have trouble standing on its legs, it sometimes falls on the side.

Thereafter, it will be fed again regularly. Freedom is up there. But for now he can not fly very well. We expect that when he's ready, he will come out naturally by himself. Second nest departure, so to speak.

Tonight, after sunset, we get him inside to make it warm and safe. And we put the alarm clock early, very early.... Because mom starts her day at sunrise. For the feeding it's won but would he ever find à free tit's life, I don't know...

May 21th

Beautiful sun. 16 °C. All the better.

.We took out the box with the chick at  5:30, the mother came to feed him as naturally as in the nest box, around 6am.

This side is won, she comes regularly but he is very small. It will be hard, as long as he doesn't fly, and if he fails to stand properly on a branch, his freedom is compromised. We can not know and of course, we do not want to take him to examine him, he has already had enough stress without that.

I am still surprised that the parents had not tried to find him more seriously. It must be said that he signals himself very little, unlike the baby great tits.

I think the parents had "concluded" (if one may use the term ...) that no, this small could not follow them and so they have applied the rule, they do not need to devote time, having five other chicks to feed, supervise, educate, even for two to three weeks. You follow, it's OK, you can't, so bad... It's the Law of Nature.

Again, they care for the chick, as if he was still in the nest. We continue to supply them generously with mealworms because parents must continue to come and feed him to commute between him and the others. They do not seem to feed exclusively the other five with mealworms, they do not consume enough and coming and going are not frequent enough. An adult, almost exclusively the mother now comes almost every half hour, three quarters of an hour. Every time the mother goes directly now to number six. The others should be under the care of the father.



It flutters much better in the box (the box is large enough for him to fly), accommodates its feathers, here is a good sign but he still seems unstable on his long legs. When he arranges his feathers he falls aside. I even saw him fall on his back!

He tries to fly and jump a little. Are wall high enough to ensure that he is already fit? They are 50cm high. A dilemma, lower he leaves event if he's still not ready ... No problem for the adult who takes off vertically, but what is it for a youngster? No reference to this subject. We decided it must be able to do the same for a successful test and we leave things unchanged.

As yesterday, we take him indoor in the evening around 21h after the last meal delivered by the mother.

May 22th

Always beautiful weather. That's good, sun. 13 °C -22 °C.

.The state of affairs?
He can stand on his legs and he flies a little better. As for the flight, we take him out of the box yesterday evening. He had to see his condition.

He's not too bad; he flies and does not crawl on the floor.

Not really impressed the chick, he stayed nicely perched on a finger and alighted on the arm. He can now stand on a perch, he holds on his feet.

A night spent inside, taken out at 5:30, but his box was placed a little lower. If he leaps out is less risky for him to be lower, we'll see if he flies right up (and more convenient for us!). It is less likely for him, if his exit is not yet a success, to end in the street.

It holds well on a perch. Good.
6h: We expect the mother; will she found him just a little lower? She's late.
6:28, here she is. She founds him and is immediately and proceeds to morning feeding, no worries, as if nothing had changed.
She has found him and comes to feed very frequently.
I would say that this morning, she works twice as hard. She crams him. She does not go away but brings again another mealworm.
He gives up: no more hungry! She shows a great patience because definitively he's not hungry anymore.

We put a perch in the box; he can now stand properly, shutters and sits normally on the perch. It's very reassuring.

Mother's patience.
Watch VIDEO   (524ko, 57s)

.7:58, I see him waving and fluttering in the box, and higher and higher.

He opens his wings, jump one last time and suddenly he's out! No sooner did I have time to realize that he was gone.
He flew easily, flying upward, freedom, a brief stop on the plum tree, where he managed to land safely and good luck number six!

Two minutes later the mother comes, look in the box, nothing, looks into the nest and leaves.

I hear chirp and fluke! I succeeded to find him on the chimney of the building below. He seems OK, now flying as the others. The time of two photos and here is number six in his new life...


Watch VIDEO   (596ko, 56s)

The mother returns repeatedly and looks in the box and the nest box calling. I think they will meet this way.

Strangely we have not seen so far, the five other young tits.

May 24th

Beautiful, warm, 28 °

Back to May 19th for the fly off of youngsters.

.It is 9:15.

Number one, the first out, landed on the branch that I had prepared for them, secretly hoping they would take it as a perch. This was indeed the case and it will stay perched 6-7 minutes.

Watch VIDEO   (5384ko, 1mn 06s)




A small misstep in the end and he lands on the windowsill.


Then he will fly to the willow, where he's not very easy to follow.

The rest of the brood will join him at the same place. With curiosity he explores his new environment.


.9:38, number two makes up his mind.



Watch VIDEO   (656ko, 17s)

It will join number one on the willow.


These two little heads, three and four are vying for the exit.


Here at 9:40, number three.

Same direction at 9:41 for number four.


.A variant: at 9:42 by number five which went in the opposite direction and stays besides the nest in the rosebush.


Here are the fly off of 3, 4 and 5:

Watch VIDEO   (5640ko, 1mn 33s)

As for six, he will emerge as the next day, May 20 But I have already told his story...

Watch  VIDEO   (2334ko, 27s)

.They will not stay long on the terrace.



Just the time to get used to all these new perches ... sometimes a little tricky to tame.



Here is the last photo before leaving with their parents. They have already mounted to the balcony above. It is 9:57.


Six small blue tits have flown successfully.

May 25th

Sunny, very warm, 17 °C in the morning, 30 °C in the afternoon.

Small sequence of May 19th before the fly off.


She is a little nosy this little female sparrow. It is à long-time since that birdhouse intrigues her. As I added a perch not far from the exit in anticipation of the flight off, she takes advantage! Besides this, there is a funny thing at the entrance. Who are you?


She ended up going to have a close look... ... too close.
Not impressed at all the youngster at the entrance, he screams but does not falter.


Fortunately, Zorro arrives to the rescue!

The bill is occupied by a large green caterpillar, but not the legs.


This deserves a little something to cheer, right?


Bravo dad!

27 mai

Gris et plus frais, pluies.

28 mai

Fraicheur, soleil, éclaircies. 17°


Tant de jours dans le nid, on a besoin d'un bon bain en sortant!





De nouveaux venus, ce couple de merles noirs a pris l'habitude de venir sur la terrasse et même, pour lui, d'y chanter tout son répertoire.




30-31 mai

30 Frais, couvert, 15°.
31 Soleil, 12°

. ..

Mai se termine. Joli mois de mai un peu avare de soleil et chaleur cette année. Aussi la fin d'une saison de nidification des mésanges bleues.
Le calme est revenu sur la terrasse. Quelques passages de jeunes charbonnières, toujours le merluchon, mais aucune jeune bleue.  


Merci à toutes et à tous, connus ou inconnus, qui avez suivi avec nous cette saison. Le journal du balcon continue, et prendra peu à peu son pas de promenade d'été...


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