When we acquired Little Piney, we took on a wildlife management plan already in action. As part of the wildlife plan, we became custodians of 7 Bluebird nest boxes. After we located all 7 little bird houses on poles, we made sure the boxes were cleaned out and ready for residents. That involves removing old nesting material, wasp nests, checking for leaks, and making sure latches work. In early March we noticed bluebirds and chickadees beginning to check them out. By the end of March the boxes were mostly furnished with nests, and more than half were hosting eggs.
When I made my rounds yesterday with clipboard in hand, all the nests held eggs except for one. When I tapped with one fingernail on the door of box #3, faint cheeps answered. Inside the deep pocket of pine straw and downy feathers I found a dark mound of tiny wings and bodies with sleeping faces–Carolina Chickadee hatchlings just a day or two old. I didn’t try to count as they seemed to be entwined and entangled, and Mama Chickadee was scolding me from the closest elm tree. I’ll check again in 4 days for a count, and to see that all is well in the nursery.
I took this picture of nest box #1’s sweet blue eggs today. They should be hatching baby Eastern Bluebirds soon.
That’s the nest box report from Little Piney. More on Friday!