Tuesday, April 26, 2011
This is what happens at the nest box while I'm at work...
So, I've always wondered what goes on when I am not watching. That is one of the reasons we installed nest box cameras in the flicker and chickadee boxes. In order to see if anyone is checking out the boxes for nesting, I devised what I call a NIB (Nesting Indicator Bar), some might call it a twig. I install the NIB in the entry hole of the nest box, and if it gets removed, I know something has been exploring the nest box. So, when I leave for work, the NIB is in place, and when I get home, it is gone. Sure, I know something has been in there, but what happened? To figure this out, I recently installed a motion activated camera in front of the nut hatch box. For eight years or so red breasted nuthatches have been nesting in this box, so I assumed that every time the NIB is gone, it is because a nuthatch took it out.
In the end I was right, but if you watch the slide show, you'll see a lot more happens. Watch closely and you'll see that it begins and ends with a nuthatch on the box and excavating, but in between it gets visited by a black capped chickadee, a northern flicker, a house sparrow, my neighbor's cat and a squirrel. Let's just say, that squirrel, isn't going to bother the nuthatches.
By the way, the nuthatches have excavated the box, and are just about done filling it with nesting materials.