By Crystal Chung @crystalkchung

A PATIENT photographer has waited TEN YEARS to get the ultimate ‘bird’s eye view' of an avian family

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New born: Recently hatched Great Tit chicks nestle together in the bird house

Wildlife photographer David Tipling built a bird house large enough to fit his camera equipment inside.

He checked it on a annual basis for a decade with no success, but this year discovered nest material had been laid in the box.

Chicks weighs roughly 1.5g at hatching and by the time they fledge they will weigh between 16 and 26g

Shot over the course of three weeks, these incredible images show the life of a family of Great Tits from birth to flying the nest.

David said: “Every year I have been disappointed until I checked the box this April and I was really excited to discover nest material so I knew a bird had taken interest.

Setting up home: The Great Tit’s nest is constructed by the female alone
A typical brood needs to be fed around 10,000 caterpillars to fuel growth

“I placed a dummy camera at the back of the box for them to get used to the intrusion of my equipment and waited, sure enough eggs were laid which hatched during the first week of May."

David’s spectacular and long-awaited pictures show a mother bird feeding and nurturing her newborn chicks as the tiny birds fights over the food she provides.

Tipling, 50, said: “As a wildlife photographer specialising a lot in birds I am always looking to innovate and show people through my pictures the behaviour of birds that they might not have seen before - and in this case is always hidden away from us as Great Tits choose to nest in cavities and holes."

Shot over the course of three weeks these incredible images show the life of a family of Great Tits

For David the challenge was to design and build a large enough nest box that would fit his large DSLR Nikon camera and 14mm lens, along with the lighting needed to illuminate the birds.

The innovative photographer used a lamp with a dimmer so he could slowly increase the light in the box when photographing the birds and slowly decrease it when he was finished.

He said: “The box was partitioned with a sheet of glass so there was separation between the nest and my equipment and because dummy cameras and lights had been placed in the box before the adults had laid their eggs, the birds simply accepted all of my equipment as just part of the nest chamber.”

David used a lamp with a dimmer so he could slowly increase the light in the box when photographing the birds

The birds hatched at the beginning of May - and with the weather being warm and sunny, the adults had no trouble finding food.

David said: “By mid-May the weather here in Norfolk deteriorated and in the last week it became very wet and cold with the adult birds struggling to find enough food, one of the chicks was very weak and receiving little food due to the dominance of the largest chick.”

The chicks survival is with thanks to David as he helped to feed the starving chicks by sneaking in mealworms

Fortunately for the family of Great Tits David came to their rescue by sneaking mealworms into their bird house.

He said: “I started to put mealworms out close by to supplement the food they were finding themselves. This almost certainly saved the weakest chick which fledged successfully.

“The advantage of the cold weather was that it did allow me to capture unique images of the adults brooding the young to keep them warm.”

To see more of David’s incredible artistic images of birds, visit his website: http://www.davidtipling.com/