There’s been both hatchings and fledgings this week. Nine birds have hatched and 8 birds have fledged. The number of hatchlings has no doubt increased as I write. Earlier this morning there were 5 unhatched eggs in the nests with newly hatched nestlings. I’m sure more have hatched in the four hours since I checked the boxes.
I heard the ominous sound of a house wren as I approached the nest box at the Cow Pasture. House wrens are notorious for wreaking havoc with cavity nesting songbirds. I knew, though, that the chickadees inside the nest were either gone, fledged, or too advanced in development to be bothered by house wrens. Still, I was apprehensive as I opened the nest box. Fortunately, the chickadees had flown the coop, they had fledged.
There was, however, the start of a house wren in the nest box.
I was surprised when I opened the nest box in Explore the Wild. There had been 6 eggs last week when I peeked into the box. A chickadee had been incubating, so I half expected the same this week. I imagined a chickadee sitting tight, then taking flight at the last minute.
The sitting bird did indeed sit tight. She wouldn’t move. She snapped her bill at me, twitched, shook, and protested. I was just about to shut the door and walk away, record it as an incubating bird on 6 eggs, when she got up and took flight.
I leaned forward and peered into the deep cup of the nest. There, within the soft lining of the nest were 4 just-hatched, naked and blind little chickadees.
I took a photo and shut the door.
Although 2 of the eggs hadn’t hatched yet, I expect they are by now, but I won’t count them until they do hatch.
There was another birth at the Into the Mist nest, this time bluebirds. The adult took flight before I approached the nest, apparently off on some errand. I looked inside the box. One, still wet bluebird chick lay before me. The other 3 eggs had yet to hatch. But, as with the chickadees above I was sure that by the afternoon they will have.
When I last checked in on the chickadees in the nest box next to the Parking Deck there were 4 half-grown birds in the nest. They’ve all fledged. The nest was empty but for the grasses, fur and feathers of the nest itself.
I saw 4 bluebird chicks when I opened the access door at the Woodlands nest. They will most likely be gone by next week, fledged and flying about the local environment.
Instead of nestlings, or an incubating adult bird, I found 5 bluebird eggs in the Butterfly House nest. Last week there were four. The female has decided to lay one more before incubating. We may see nestlings by the next inspection.
So, there it is, progress on the bluebird trial. Two nests are currently empty, the Parking Deck nest box and the Cow Pasture nest box, though the latter has the beginnings of a house wren nest within. All the other nests have nestlings or eggs that will, if all goes well, hatch within a day or two.
See you next week!