Recently I installed a brand new nest box in our back yard and it was not long before it was being examined carefully. The first prospector was a male House Sparrow Passer domesticus and he has been back quite often.
This morning he went in and out several times and on one foray actually stayed inside the box for two or three minutes. Perhaps he still needs to convince his paramour that it is a suitable residence in which to raise a family.
The other interested parties have been Black-capped Chickadees Poecile atricapillus and it seemed that at one point a mated pair were checking it out together.
One thing is for sure, if it becomes the choice of both species, there is little doubt that the House Sparrow is going to be victorious. However, we have another option for the chickadee, not yet installed, but used by chickadees to raise young two years ago.
A Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens showed interest also, but I have not seen this species return.
This duo of Mourning Doves Zenaida macroura seems to have formed a pair, for even though there were other doves in the area, this couple stayed together, aloof from their congeners.
A male House Finch Haemorhous mexicanus is a handsome bird indeed and this individual looks ready for romance.
Even this dorsal view gives a good idea of the quality of his plumage, no doubt a sure fire way to attract a mate.
I'll be keeping a close eye on the next box to see exactly what happens, but I am sure that whichever species gains occupancy they will make fine companions for us.