June 9, 2017 at 2:26 pm #4682
Hey guys. So I’m really not sure what is going on with the chickadee nest. They started laying eggs 5/25. I was away for 6 days, and when I got back on 6/2 there were 3 eggs in there. Last weekend I didn’t see them around much…I spent a couple hours outside both days. Saturday I saw them in late afternoon going in and out of the box. Sunday I only saw one of them around the same time 4-5pm, it went in the box at least once, but I’m not sure how long it stayed. On Monday I checked the box and flushed one of them (the female?)…she flew to a tree and the male showed up right away and they got mad that I was around. I didn’t check the box again until today..nobody was in it and I don’t see or hear them around anywhere, but still 3 eggs. I hardly ever see them, although to be fair I don’t have much time during the week to watch. And the chickadees are much quieter than the blues. I put a piece of grass across the hole today to see if it gets moved, but if its not moved in a couple hours I would assume they aren’t incubating? Would they delay incubation this long? The weather has been pretty terrible here in CT…raining nonstop for the last month and cold. I obviously don’t want to remove anything if it is still active or they are still interested, but I hardly ever see them to know. Any thoughts?June 9, 2017 at 8:28 pm #4685
Meg, I have the same exact thing going on with a pair of chickadees out back, in a Gilbertson box that my blues hate. Now please don’t get me wrong, I like black-capped chickadees; they are handsome, friendly, and a source of entertainment in the winter at the feeding station… but as for their nesting habits, it’s amateur hour! These guys have no idea what they are doing. In my box, for example, I do not even have to leave the house to monitor it. The Gilbertson box is prominently placed in the backyard; I can see it from my favorite chair, and I know all of their comings and goings. I had one egg for 41 days, then the pair left town. Another, less mature pair shows up, she lays one egg, and nothing… in and out of the box for 3 weeks, now… nothing. The funny thing is, they have no competition for the box. No one bothers them, yet they still can’t get it together. I have no HOSP, no HOWR, no snakes… nothing. As soon as I document abandonment, the Gilbertson box is coming down. I only left it up because I was hoping for a pair of tree swallows. No such luck, for me…
Bedford, New HampshireJune 10, 2017 at 10:55 am #4695
Well unfortunately I did have both blues and TRES interested in the box but the chickadees had already built their nest so I put on a hole reducer. And yes I’d love for chickadees to have a successful nest in the box but at this point I feel like they’re holding the box hostage! I did end up seeing them again yesterday so who knows what they’re doing.June 12, 2017 at 11:44 am #4724
Yeah dees are funny little birds but, like most, they are very secretive when it comes to a nest.
Meg, I would leave that grass in the hole for 24 hours.
Atlanta, GAJune 12, 2017 at 2:04 pm #4732
Well after Randy’s comments I decided to just put up another box hoping the blues would come back. Put it up around 7pm last night. I looked out the window at noon today and there were chickadees bringing in nesting material..just checked and they already have around an inch of moss in there! Hah guess I just can’t win.June 12, 2017 at 2:47 pm #4733
Meg, you may have the same problem I do, in that chickadees do not comprehend the term “territorial”. Everybody’s welcome, at least in my yard! I threw a stick, today… hit a chickadee. Tripped on a pebble… fell on a chickadee. I cannot get away from them! :) I plan to let this pair “play out the string” with this nest and one egg, but as soon as Junior heads off to chickadee boarding school, that box will become a permanent decoration in my shed. Bluebirds only. Those are the rules. :)
Bedford, New HampshireJune 12, 2017 at 6:30 pm #4738
Randy, your clumsiness might be one for the record book.
Atlanta, GAJune 12, 2017 at 6:45 pm #4742
That’s right, Gin… take the chickadee’s side…
Bedford, New HampshireJune 12, 2017 at 8:46 pm #4746LisaParticipant
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I finally saw a chickadee this week! They’ve been super scarce!June 14, 2017 at 2:57 pm #4782
Well the grass I put in the hole of the first box keeps disappearing so I guess they are still interested. Or the wrens been back, but eggs are still intact as far as I can tell. I put up a guard early on the new box since I saw the HOWR around and looks like they’ve added to the nest so accepted it. This nest also looks way better then the first so maybe I have some dees that know what they’re doing now?? Haha. Also our eastern phoebe has decided to make the new box her new hunting perch. Curious if this will help deter the HOWR at all with her sitting on it all day.June 14, 2017 at 8:54 pm #4790
Maybe but I doubt it. The phoebe isn’t interested in the cavity so won’t be guarding it. The HOWR is probably cheeky enough to go about business as usual. That would be true to their personality.
Atlanta, GAJune 15, 2017 at 4:23 pm #4812
So I found a wasp starting a nest in the box today. Could it possibly be what’s moving the grass from the hole? Or any other tricks out there to determine if the nest is actually abandoned?
The new box has been up only 4 days and that chickadee already has an egg in there. And of course who shows up today but papa blue. He even flew under the wren guard to check out the hole before the chickadees started flying at him. so frustrating I miss the blues :(June 15, 2017 at 8:56 pm #4814
If you wedged the grass in the hole a wasp couldn’t move it. Did you remove the wasp nest? Soap the ceiling?
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