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Tits are among the most common domestic breeding birds. They stay here all year round and start looking for a nesting site early in the year. Breeding several times a year is common for the tit species.

In a nutshell

  • Breeding season from April to July
  • Incubation period is a little over a month
  • Tits usually breed up to twice a year
  • Blue and great tits are cave breeders

creation of breeding cavities

The two most common native representatives, the blue tit (Parus caeruleus) and the great tit (Parus major), are so-called cave breeders. The birds are not choosy and take every opportunity that comes their way. In addition to tree cavities, their natural nesting place, blind boxes, wall cracks or nest behind gaps in the facade are also used. This bird species also overwinters here and occasionally uses the nesting sites as a winter roost.
This is what preferred breeding sites look like:

Tits, Paridae
  • at least two meters from the ground
  • Orientation to the south-east or east
  • no blazing sun
  • sufficient food sources

A pair of tits usually breeds several times a year, but does not always have to use the same nest. During the breeding season, they can change nests several times, especially if parasites have settled there, for example. However, they usually return to their original nesting sites and only change these when they can no longer be used or are no longer available.

Tip: If you have mounted nest boxes, do not clean this during the breeding season, but at the end in late autumn. In this way you do not accidentally destroy a clutch and offer the birds a clean winter quarters.

Breeding season from April

The breeding season of the native tit species begins around April. In a very mild winter they sometimes start as early as March. However, this can lead to the first brood dying or not surviving when the cold snaps again. Tits usually breed once or twice. If the brood dies prematurely, a third brood may occur.
In July the birds have finished breeding. In rare cases there are still stragglers that have also fledged by the end of July at the latest.

incubation and nestling season

The incubation period is the same for all tit species. After about a month, blue and great tit young fledge. The time from egg to flying bird is divided as follows:

  • Incubation period: 14 days
  • Nestling period: 20 days

After the nestling period, the so-called nestling period begins, but this can overlap with the nestling period. Until the young birds can fly properly and that over longer distances, only short flights can be made. In the best case, they land on the branches, but sometimes they simply land on the ground. The parents then simply continue to feed the birds on the branch or on the ground until they have enough strength again to try to fly again.
When dealing with the fledglings, it is important not to let excessive love for animals arise. Often fledglings are picked up when they are sitting on the ground, although they are still being cared for by their parents. These young birds often do not survive human care.
Proper handling of fledglings:

  • Observe fledglings from a safe distance
  • Keep cats or other enemies away
  • Take in fledglings only when the parent birds no longer appear after several hours
  • Have fledglings cared for by wild bird experts

The time when they are fledglings is usually the most dangerous for the young birds, as they are often defenseless at the mercy of predators. Although the parent birds are often nearby, they cannot fend off every attacker. Therefore, you should help fledglings in such a way that you make sure that no enemy can harm them until they have flown to the next safe branch.

frequently asked Questions

When should you install a tit nest box?

Tits stay here all year round, so a nest box should be fitted as early as possible. This allows the birds to find a suitable place early on.

What do tit eggs look like?

Blue and great tits lay up to 12 eggs that are speckled with red.

What do the chicks of tits eat?

The parent birds bring the chicks only food such as insects or worms. Seeds are unsuitable for chicks and are eaten at most by the parent birds themselves.

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