We have 15 boxes on our bluebird trail and each year we will have one or two nestings of "undesirable" birds such as these chickadees this spring. I don't understand how you could throw out the very birds that you entertain at your bird feeders. We therefore run an equal opportunity nesting organization.
Part of the entertainment in bluebird box maintenance is guessing the bird species by the eggs. This used to be difficult, but now a site at sialis.org makes it quick and easier. (This is listed on the resources page along with our other favorite links.) These speckled eggs could be chickadee or nuthatch.
These little chickadee chicks on day one looked even more naked and vulnerable that the usual nest of day old bluebirds. They were so scrawny and still that I thought they were dead, but by the next day, their mouths were open, begging for food like I was their mama.
Last Tuesday I filmed this video of newly hatched bluebird chicks just a few hours out of the egg. They look identical but they were much more active. You will see one of them confusing its siblings neck for food with the fifth baby's beak just cracking out of the egg.
|Chickadee Nest- Sialis.org|
You will notice these chickadee chicks the day before they fledged are tightly nestled down in soft moss, not the dry scratchy stuff of bluebirds. Once again they didn't even bother to look up at me.
When you remove the empty chickadee nest the soft spongy feel is quite distinctive. To quote Cornell.edu, "The nest has a moss base and a cup made of grass, plant down, and feathers. The female lines the nest with finer materials such as fine grass, fur, and hair." In fact it feels just like the deep moss beds I look for when I catch a nap while I am supposed to be cutting firewood in the winter. Don't tell Barb.