Nest Box Update 4.23.19

There’ve been additional eggs, hatchlings and a change in occupancy since the last nest box inspection. Bluebirds, chickadees and house wrens are all involved. Yes, house wrens have returned from their winter quarters and have very loudly made their presence known.

I heard the rolling warble of a house wren as I approached the nest box at the Cow Pasture and immediately started to wonder, ”Had the wrens taken over the chickadee nest inside the box, the chickadee nest which had 2 speckled chickadee eggs in it last week.” The answer became quite clear as I got closer to the nest box and saw a twig poking out of the entrance hole. House wrens construct their nest with twigs. Inside, there was the beginnings of a house wren nest.

A twig sticking out of Cow Pasture nest box (4.23.19).
The wren nest in progress at Cow Pasture (4.23.19).

Heading down the trail to the nest box on the service road leading to the outdoor classrooms I heard again, the warble of a house wren. This nest box had already seen a takeover, the chickadees that had built a nest inside the box had abandoned it to a bumblebee.

Once chickadees abandon a nest they apparently do not return. So, it may be a good thing if house wrens move in, at least the nest box will be used. As long as the wrens don’t destroy a working nest of another species it seems more acceptable to have them use the box. Although, most bluebird trail keepers cringe at the thought of a house wren nesting in a bluebird nest box, I have a fondness for house wrens. I’d rather have bluebirds, but if no one else is using the box, house wrens will do.

Will this abandoned chickadee nest be occupied by house wrens (4.23.19)?

There were 4 bluebird eggs in the nest box on the service road to Into the Mist. The female bluebird flew out of the box as I approached so maybe there’ll be another egg or two by next week’s inspection, though she may have already started to incubate, which means she’s done laying.

Bluebird eggs at Into the Mist nest (4.23.19).

It’s difficult to detect in the accompanying photos, but it appears that all 5 chickadee eggs have hatched in the nest box on the east side of the parking deck. At last week’s inspection only three had so far hatched.

At least one chickadee looks hungry at parking deck nest (4.23.19).

There are still 5 unhatched bluebird eggs in the nest box on the west side of the parking deck. The female was in the box when I opened it and was obviously incubating. There should be nestlings by next week’s inspection.

Bluebird eggs are being incubated at parking deck _ W nest (4.23.19).

Again, difficult to see in the photo of the Butterfly House chickadee nest, but it appears all 5 eggs have hatched.

Brood of hungry chickadees at Butterfly House nest (4.23.19).

Looking at my nest worksheet, it appears all 10 chickadee eggs in the two remaining chickadee nests have hatched. One chickadee nest was destroyed and taken over by a house wren. A house wren may occupy an abandoned chickadee nest. And, there are currently 9 bluebird eggs on the trail waiting to hatch.

The fun is just beginning. See you next week.

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