Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus
19 June 2013
Last year Miriam's daughter, Erin, gave us a bird house based on the design of a tea kettle. Although superficially decorative, it is in fact well insulated to keep the temperature inside relatively constant, and has a latched door at the back for ease of viewing. This spring we placed a few twigs inside so that any prospective occupant would have the illusion of needing to clean out the cavity, and it was not long before we noticed a pair of Black-capped Chickadees inspecting it. After a few days we were pretty sure that they had set up home there and a quick check of the interior confirmed that fact. A neat cup nest contained eggs. The nest was placed off to one side and we could only see two eggs, although the normal clutch is from five to ten, but we examined the contents of the nest box very quickly for fear of disturbing the occupants too much. No doubt there were more than two eggs.
On 19 June we suspected that the eggs had hatched and a quick examination revealed newly hatched young. We quickly closed up the box and have not checked again. The two devoted parents are kept busy ferrying food to their brood, interspersing that activity with a quick visit to the bird feeder, which we are keeping well stocked with sunflower seed, to gain food for themselves.
We are delighted, to say the least, that we have a breeding pair of chickadees in our yard and we look forward to seeing the young emerge from the nest.
Thanks Erin for a great gift!
The tea kettle house