Differences between our Blue Tit and Sparrow nests

We’ve had a Blue Tit bird box for over 5 years and have had a Blue Tit nest in the box every season since it was put up. This year is a little different though as a Sparrow has taken over the box and decided to build a nest.

There have been a number of differences around the way the two different birds construct their nests, so I thought I’d write a post about them.

When the birds first start investigating the nest box, the Sparrows spent a far longer time checking the box out. They must have spent a couple of weeks before bringing the first bits of grass back to the nest, whereas a blue tit seems to start building it’s nest after only a few days of checking out the box.

Here’s a video of one of the Sparrows just taking a look:

Having checked out the box and determined its suitability, the Blue Tits then create a nest over a handful of days and make it perfect before laying a single egg.

And once the nest is complete, the eggs are laid:

The Sparrows on the other hand built a bit of a nest and then proceeded to lay eggs and continue building the nest around the eggs! When the first egg was laid, there was so little nest material, the egg was touching the bottom of the wooden box.

The composition of the nests is also visible in those video clips. The Blue Tit tends to use a large amount of grass and then add a few feathers and softer material to the center. The Sparrows nest looks like the Sparrow has robbed a pigeon of all it’s soft white feathers!

Another observable difference which can’t really be shown with clips is how much the Blue Tit fidgets in comparison with the Sparrow. The Sparrow remains fairly still when in the box, but all of the Blue Tits have always been exceedingly active!

That’s it for now. I’ll add another post as the Sparrow eggs hatch (fingers crossed they do!) and fly away.