Bluebird Update 4/15/14

We now have six nest boxes containing 16 eggs. Last week there were a total of seven eggs in the boxes, all chickadee eggs. There are now an additional 9 eggs, all belonging to bluebirds. There has been a change in ownership of one nest box and two of the boxes have completed nests sans eggs.

Last week, the nest at the Cow Pasture was empty, no eggs. It now has five bluebird eggs. This nest, started by bluebirds and finished by bluebirds, is the only nest which has not seen a chickadee’s influence, more of that later.

The only "totally bluebird" nest now has five eggs (4/15/14).
The only “totally bluebird” nest now has five eggs (4/15/14).

Last week I predicted that both the Bungee and the Sail Boat Pond nests, which at the time had four and three chickadee eggs, respectively, would have a few more eggs. I was wrong. Each nest still has the same amount of eggs. And, the females have been incubating, each bird flew from the nest as I approached. Incubation is a good indication that the egg laying is over.

There'll be no more eggs in this chickadee's nest. Note the nice round "cup" formed by the incubating bird (4/15/14).
There’ll be no more eggs in this chickadee’s nest. Note the nice round “cup” formed by the incubating bird (4/15/14).

The nest box in the Amphimeadow is still empty. This is one of the nests started by a bluebird, worked on by a chickadee, and finally completed by a bluebird.

Moving on to another nest with the same sequence in nest construction as the last (bluebird, chickadee, back to bluebird), the Picnic Dome nest. This nest now has four lustrous bluebird eggs. I’m not going to predict there will be more eggs by next week, but I didn’t see the female around, which may mean she’s not yet incubating, which also means she may lay more eggs. But no, I think we should wait till next week and see what the birds decide to do.

Four eggs grace the nest at the Picnic Dome (4/15/14).
Four eggs grace the nest at the Picnic Dome (4/15/14).
This is no longer property of the chickadees. Bluebirds have taken over (4/15/14).
This is no longer property of the chickadees. Bluebirds have taken over (4/15/14).

Last week, the nest at the Butterfly House was all chickadee. I was surprised that a chickadee would build in this box since it’s in an area that’s more open than they like. Nevertheless, the birds had built a nice moss nest topped off with fur with a well shaped “cup” ready to accept eggs. At the time, I predicted, “Unless something happens to the female between now and next Tuesday, there will be eggs in that nest.”

Well, something apparently has happened to the chickadees. It appears they’ve been ousted by a pair of bluebirds. There is now, built on top of the “old” chickadee nest, a completed bluebird nest, no eggs yet, but the nest is finished and ready.

With the takeover of the chickadee nest at the Butterfly House there are now four bluebird nests with a total of nine eggs, four in the Cow pasture nest and four in the Picnic Dome nest.

Where last week there were three chickadee nests, there are now two. One is at the Bungee Jump (four eggs), the other the Sail Boat Pond (three eggs).

All nests except one (Cow Pasture), have at one time been occupied by chickadees, the nests having been partially constructed by chickadees.

The early morning temperatures on the 16th and 17th are expected to be in the low thirties, perhaps dipping to the twenties. Wish the birds who’ve already expended the time and energy in laying eggs good luck. Let’s hope they sit tight on those eggs for the next few days.

See you next week.

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