Friday, June 4, 2010

Nesting, nestling and fledging update

There is a lot going on with nesting birds in our garden. We have northern flickers, black-capped chickadee, and red-breastered nuthatches in various stages of nesting and fledging in nest boxes in our small backyard. Here is a breif run down on the actvity....

Black- capped chickadees

The chickadees should fledge any time now- they are ready to go but have probably been delayed by this rain. By the way, thank goodness for the rain!

If you haven't done so already check out the inside of the nest box with our streaming nest camera. But you'd better hurry because they are about to fledge. Click here to go inside the nest box.

At the beginning of this posts is a short video my wife took of the outside of the box and one of the adults feeding the young. For those that only know the chickadees from the inside of the nest box, this view might be interesting.

One thing I am really excited about is that we will be able to capture the mysterious second clutch this year on camera. every year, the chickadees have a second clutch, even after a typically very fruitful first clutch. The second clutch is usually smaller, and takes less time to fledge. It has aways appeared that the young from the first clutch help in raising (or at least with the feeding), the second clutch. Hopefully, though we'll be able to learn a little more of what is going on. It is not really common that chickadees have two clutches, so I am excited to learn more.

Red-breasted nuthatches

These little fellas have been a bit overlooked this year, I am sad to say. Not that they care, but theirs is the only box in which we did not install a nest cam. As a result, we have been so focused on the chickadees and the flicker business, that these little guys have been almost ignored (not really, but relatively). Anyway, they should be fledging any day now, too, but without all the fanfare. One interesting thing to note with these nuthatches, is that there are nuthatches nesting in the nest box I installed at the 8th Street Pocket Park, which is just a block away. Every so often these two nuthatch factions defend their little territories, which is kind of neat.

Northern flickers

Wow, they have had an eventful spring. Here is a little story of their spring...
  • They excavated out nest box
  • They also excavated a cavity in a silver maple in front of my neighbors house
  • They laid eggs in the cavity in the maple
  • European starlings evicted them from their nest
  • The starlings are nesting in the tree
  • The flickers left the area
  • Last weekend the flickers returned to the nest box, and as of yesterday (June 3)have laid at least 2 eggs (in the photo below- kind of poor qualiy but it is a video capture).

I hope they can raise a clutch- it is getting late for them.

Once the chickadees fledge we will switch to the flickercam for nest box viewing. Exciting.

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