This week’s trek around the campus to peek in on our 6 nest boxes along the museum’s bluebird trail involved eastern bluebirds, Carolina chickadees, and a bumblebee. All nest boxes contained nest material. Two had bluebird nests and four had chickadee made structures.
The nest box at the Cow Pasture, up near the Ellerbe Creek Railroad Tunnel, has a completed chickadee nest. There were no eggs in the nest, and no adult that I could see or hear nearby, but the nest is ready for occupancy.
Last week the chickadee nest in the box in Explore the Wild had moss only. This week there was a nest complete with fur topping. There was also the unmistakable buzz of a bee as I opened the nest box door. Before I could get ready with camera, out popped a none-too-happy bumblebee. It flew around my head a couple of times, around the nest box several more, and then took off to the west.
I debated whether or not to leave the nest as is and let the bees have it, or clean it out. I decided to dump the nest and let the chickadees start over. The birds, however, may not come back.
A bluebird nest was in the previously empty nest box on the service road to Into the Mist. It was quite wet. Some water proofing maybe necessary to keep this nest dry.
There was an adult chickadee incubating when I opened the inspection door on the nest box on the east side of the parking deck. The little chickadee was sitting on five speckled eggs. They may hatch by next week.
An adult female bluebird peered out of the entrance hole of the west side parking deck nest box as I approached. She sat tight for a few seconds as I opened the door but eventually took flight. The nest looked to be complete so there may be eggs by next week’s inspection.
There were two chickadee eggs in the nest box at the Butterfly House last week. There are now 5 eggs and they were being incubated. I’m not sure if they’ll hatch by next week. They were laid over the past week and may need more time to hatch than the eggs at the parking deck which are several days older.
All nest boxes have nest material in them, four chickadee and two bluebird nests, and two have eggs (chickadee). One chickadee nest was taken over by a bumblebee which was evicted to give the birds another chance.
See you next week.