Lots of news to report today. We’ll start at the “Cow Pasture.” Last week this nest box contained a completed nest but lacked eggs. It now has 3 beautiful blue eggs.
The nest box at the meadow next to the “Take Off” which was empty last week now has a completed chickadee nest with eggs. The bird was incubating when I approached the nest, flew out of the entrance hole and scolded me from a nearby tree while I opened and inspected the box.
And what was inside?
Only a couple of hundred feet away another chickadee nest is underway behind the Sail Boat Pond. This nest was plagued by ants last year so I’m hoping for better result this year.
This particular location did host a bluebird on one occassion but it typically attracts chickadees and House Wrens instead. It’s in a “tighter” situation and with two other nest boxes within 200 hundred feet or so the bluebirds have their pick of the best sites leaving this one to the other species.
I’m open to any species but European Starlings and House Sparrows using the nest boxes. Those two species have many sites available to them down the road in suburban and central Durham, sites where bluebirds, chickadees, House Wrens, and nuthatches will not, or can not, nest.
Last week the nest at the Amphimeadow had four bluebird eggs but I could not locate the adult birds. A second check the following day revealed a female incubating, she’s still at it.
When I checked the nest near the Picnic Dome last Tuesday (4/2/13) it had a chickadee nest but did not contain eggs. It now has three eggs. Hopefully there will be more when it’s time for the next inspection.
Some birds seem to be on a tighter schedule than others. The bluebird that has a nest in the box at the Butterfly House has been very busy, she has added five bright shiny eggs to what was an empty nest last week.
In summary, five of six nest boxes are occupied, three by bluebirds and three by chickadees. There are eight eggs in the chickadee nests (3 in one, 5 in another, and one has no eggs). There are currently twelve bluebird eggs waiting to hatch (5, 4, and 3).
See you next week!
Greg Dodge is a professional naturalist as well as a writer, videographer and producer of natural history DVDs. His images have been used in various TV productions, museum displays, and corporate videos. Above all, he has a fascination and passion for all things natural.
He can be found Tuesday thru Saturday in Explore the Wild, Catch the Wind, or on the Dinosaur Trail. Ask him what’s new in the wild!