There’ve been a few changes in the nest boxes. This week, upon inspection of our six nest boxes, I discovered two cracked eggs in two different nests, three incubating birds, and one nest that hadn’t seen any type of activity.
The nest at the Cow pasture, which is occupied by and contains eggs laid by chickadees, was much the same as last week. It contained six eggs and a dedicated Carolina chickadee sitting on those eggs.
When I opened the Explore the Wild nest box I was a bit surprised. Last week it held six eggs. This week the were two, one of which was cracked. It looked as if it had been pecked at.
I hadn’t looked inside the box since last Tuesday (4/1/18) so I can’t say when this happened. Could it have been a house wren? It certainly could have been. I’ve not been at the museum since Saturday (4/14) so I may have missed the arrival of houses wrens. Though, the last few nights have not been conducive to migratory flights by songbirds. And, I didn’t hear or see any today, or elsewhere during the weekend away from the museum, so I’m not entirely sure this is their handy work.
One more thing, I saw no shell fragments beneath the nest box which is often the case with wrens. They often break the eggs and toss them on the ground in front of the box along with the nest material that was in the nest box. The nest itself hadn’t been touched. Technically, this is still a mystery, though wrens are always suspect.
No changes were made to the bluebird nest in the box at the service road to Into the Mist.
Last week the nest box near the Parking Deck held four chickadee eggs. It still does. The difference this week is that the eggs are being incubated, a bird was sitting on them as I opened the nest box door. By the way, I always make noise when approaching the nests and knock on the boxes before opening them so as not to startle any sitting birds.
The Woodlands nest box still contains five eggs. There were no birds in the area when I approached the box. The female may have been taking a break just before I arrived or simply hasn’t begun the incubation process.
Last on the inspection list is the Butterfly House nest box. One of the four eggs in the nest was cracked. Again it looked as if it had been pecked at. A female was incubating as I made my inspection, so the nest hasn’t been abandoned. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with this nest.
All six nest boxes contain nests, one has been pilfered (Explore the Wild), three nest have birds which are incubating their eggs (Cow Pasture, Parking Deck, and Butterfly House), one has seen no additional work on the nest or eggs laid (Into the Mist), and one has eggs but no incubation was observed (Woodlands).
What will happen next week?
See you then.