There have been a few changes since last week’s inspection of the six nest boxes here at the Museum. All nest boxes are occupied, as was the case last week. But now, all bluebird nests have full compliments of eggs, all are being incubated by their respective parents. And, all but one chickadee egg has hatched.
There are still 5 eggs in the nest at the Cow Pasture. The female flew out as I approached which means the eggs are being incubated.
The nest next to the Bunggee Jump, which held four eggs last week now has three freshly hatched, naked and blind chicks inside. One of the eggs has yet to hatch. I believe that it will, the nestlings look very “fresh” and may have hatched earlier on the morning of the inspection. The other egg may have already hatched as I write this. But, past experience tells me to not count the chickadees before they hatch.
Taking the short hike over to the Sail Boat Pond nest, I discovered three newly hatched chickadees there as well.
Moving over to the Amphimeadow, there were zero (0) eggs last week in this bluebird nest. A different story this week, the female was sitting on eggs. She seemed reluctant to leave the box when I walked up to it, but took off just as I knocked on the door (I always knock before entering).
This bluebird seems to have gotten down to business quickly, no eggs last week and now already sitting on five. I can’t wait to see what happens next week when I peek into the box.
Last week the Picnic Dome nest held four eggs. It now has one additional egg for a total of five. Again, the female sat tight as I walked up to the box.
The last nest in the weekly inspection is the Butterfly House (BFH) nest. Last week there were no eggs to be seen in this nest box. I didn’t see any this week either. However, there are eggs in the nest, I just don’t know how many. The female decided to sit tight even as I opened the side door to the nest box.
Rather than disturb the female any further I let her sit and will count the eggs at a later date, perhaps next week.
To sum it up, as of April 22 we have six hatchling chickadees and one, so far, unhatched chickadee egg. Three hatchlings are at the Bungee nest with one unhatched, and three hatchlings are in the Sail Boat Pond nest.
There are now anywhere from 16 to 20 bluebird eggs being incubated at this time. There are fifteen eggs that I’m sure of, that I’ve seen with my own eyes, and there must be at least one egg under the female in the BFH nest or she wouldn’t be sitting on the nest. Consistent with the other bluebird nests this year, there may be as many as five eggs under her.
I will see you next week when we find out if the other chickadee egg hatches, and how many eggs are under the bluebird in the BFH nest. I can’t wait, can you?
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!