Friday, April 18, 2008

No Vacancy

We had a few fleeting visits from a bluebird couple in March. They landed on the nesting box and went inside. They showed no signs of shyness. I thought maybe they might be the bluebirds we had here last year since they were already paired up and seemed very comfortable with the nesting box. After they left, I looked inside to make sure no other birds had started nesting in there and they hadn't. Earlier that same day, a small woodpecker had been in the nesting box checking it out as well. Over the winter, we had several birds show interest in the box while the bluebirds were away. The downy woodpeckers and black capped chickadees visited the nesting box on a regular basis.

Well, March 25 is the last time I have seen the bluebirds. We've put out meal worms occasionally, to try to attract them. The titmice and chickadees sure do appreciate it. They ate up the worms without hesitation.

The bluebirds are taking their time coming back. I imagine they are enjoying their spring foot loose and baby free. It is after all, a lot of work raising those babies all summer. I picture them flying all around the area surveying their choices of nesting sites. I'm sure they are having a good time. Maybe they are sleeping in late or taking naps during the day. As it turns out, that old saying, you snooze, you lose, is true. Our year round friends, the chickadees have decided that this will make a nice spot to nest.

This Black Capped Chickadee says, "No Vacancy!"

They're much smaller than the bluebirds, but they like this box just the same. Yesterday, they started building their nest. You can see in the pictures below, she is bringing dried grass and moss into the nesting box. I wonder how much longer till we have eggs.

The chickadees have never been shy around me. They seem friendly in fact. They sure are cute little birds. I watched them build their nest for a while. They chirped happily as they made trips back and forth. They gathered moss from the rock wall between the house and the yard, as well as grass. I was curious about their nest and took a quick peek inside the box yesterday evening. The nest looked only about halfway done and was made of soft moss and grass. It looked like a soft spot for a baby bird to hatch and spend it's first days of life. As I write this, I just glanced out my office window and caught site of a chickadee with a beak full of grass on her way back to the nesting box. We may not have bluebirds this year, but I like the chickadees so much, I find it hard to be disappointed.

1 comment:

Stratford Watershed said...

Good afternoon,

My name is Kelley Arnold and I am the Watershed Coordinator for the Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Group/Town of Stratford located on Prince Edward Island Canada. We recently received a small grant to develop/print an Acadian Forest Field Guide, aimed at youth from grades 3-6. We are in the development stage, and are frantically trying to gather all of the data and photos for printing at the end of April in time for distribution at our annual “Water School”.

I have been trying to locate a good photo of a chickadee in a birdhouse, and discovered your photo through Google. I am inquiring as to whether I could get permission to use your photo within our field guide; the photo would be cited of course, along with a website reference at the back of the guide. A link to the general page is pasted below:

Any information or permission for use from your site would be greatly appreciated! Please feel free to contact me at this email address, or at 902-367-3605.

Warm regards,