Friday, 11 March 2016

A few more nest boxes at SpruceHaven

8 March 2016

     John Lichty kindly made four nest boxes to be installed at SpruceHaven in the hope of inducing Black-capped Chickadees Poecile atricpillus to take up residence in them. I have little doubt that we will see all of them occupied by about the middle of next month.

     These small boxes are much easier to mount than the larger boxes already installed with Eastern Screech Owls Megascops asio in mind and they were installed in short order.

John Lichty

Sandy Hill, Jamie Hill, Lichty's best side

Almost complete

        We have been having a really warm spell and migrants are suddenly everywhere. Male Red-winged Blackbirds Agelaius phoeniceus were singing from every cattail and sapling, establishing and defending territories and waiting for the first females to arrive.

     Male Common Grackles Quiscalus quiscula were also much in evidence, although nowhere near as vocal as the Red-winged Blackbirds.

     To round out the trio of expected early migrants American Robins Turdus migratorius were present also.

     The warm spell continues unabated and more and more species are arriving. Perhaps today I'll see a Killdeer Charadrius vociferus!


  1. 'Poecile' is a newishly named genus, some of the species here in Hokkaido belong to it too...........

    Red Winged Blackbirds are a spectacular looking bird...........

  2. Beautiful images of our feathered friends and others too ...

    All the best Jan

  3. The chickadee is such a pretty little bird but I love the other shots as well. The American robin is completely different to the two robins I know, the European Robin and the numerous types of robin in South Africa. Have a great weekend Diane

  4. Just heard the first Red Winged Blackbird calls this morning here in Toronto along the Don River Valley. Also this week, a couple of dozen Robins clustered between two close growing maples all in full song in the late afternoon sun, two red tailed hawks, one carrying small prey of some kind seeming to fly together and perhaps most surprising, a "V" of 80 Canada Geese flying so high it was only the dog's reaction to their call that drew my attention. It really does feel like a lot of activity all of a sudden!

  5. Hello. Great pictures. We have not yet made the bird's nests.

  6. Gorgeous shots! I like the two last. Enjoy your weekend.

  7. Preciosas fotos David, las de el American Robin, Turdus migratorius, me parecen fantásticas, un pájaro realmente espectacular. Un fuerte abrazo desde España.

  8. I always love seeing Red-winged Blackbirds. I saw a couple this week, early in the morning. Great shots!

  9. Hi David.

    Fine for the birds' nests.
    The pictures of the birds are beautiful.

    Groettie from Patricia.

  10. Bonjour David,
    Bravo pour les "boxes" ! j'espère que vous aurez de nombreux jeunes. Chez nous aussi il y en a partout :)
    Bon WE David

  11. The boxes are of course a wonderful idea.
    The Blackbird - never seen one like that, yet! Beautiful colours.

  12. Top notch shots David,I wish you luck with your new nest boxes,lets hope they all get occupied.

  13. I love the Grackles, they are superb, and the colours, wow.

  14. Such a pleasure to see the birds back indeed!
    My, David, thanks for comment... I am far to publish anything right now, I am at last engaged in the process of selling the property, I will know for sure if it will indeed be sold in the first week of April...
    Hugs to share with Miriam :)

    1. We will both keep our fingers and toes crossed that your sale goes through.

  15. Hello David!:) Excellent captures of all the birds. I love seeing your Red-winged Blackbirds,American Robins, and Grackles. Lets hope the boxes are indeed all occupied come April.

  16. Dearest David,
    Loved that last photo with the frozen snow!
    Excellent photos and what a rewarding thing for hanging those bird houses. They will get occupied gratefully, no doubt.
    In reply to your remark about 'harbour' in my Toronto post. Yes, both of us have studied Oxford English and it is weird that my book that I wrote about Mushroom Harvesting and Post Harvesting with some hygiene and disease control, had to get edited into American English. First of all, we have absolutely no feeling for the measurements here... We're metric and legally the USA is too but that works only in the medical world so far.
    Wonder if we ever will see the complete change and even Canada is a mixed system...

    1. You are right, Mariette. Unlike Australia, which very sensibly went 100% metric, in Canada we have waffled between the two so we have a strange hybrid usage. Metric is so far superior I have no idea why people have difficulty adopting it.

  17. Hello David, awesome shots of the birds. I am waiting for some more spring birds to move back. The birds will appreciate the new nest boxes. Happy Sunday, enjoy your new week ahead!

  18. Our Coal Tits, the nearest thing to your chickadees, rarely if ever take to nest boxes. But then they have to compete with the more aggressive Great Tit and/or Blue Tit, not to mention Pied Flycatchers arriving in April.

    Good to see the Red-winged Blackbird again. Our warm weather arrives this week - 10 days or more - we'll see.

  19. You and your friends do such amazing work with the nest boxes and your bird photos are wonderful. Chickadees are my favorite birds really. I am always in awe of how they seem to spend more energy getting that one sunflower seed from the feeder and flying off with it than they could possibly get from eating it. You never see them just sitting at the feeder gorging.

    Glad you are up and out and about again.

  20. A wonderful series, David. Thanks for always mentioning -per species- the scientific name, which makes searching in my language a lot easier.
    Gr Jan W

  21. Nice set of birds - I remember building and setting up heaps of nest boxes over one very cold winter in the UK. Boy, did the coffee taste good that winter!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  22. Beautiful birds you had the lens David, very nice to see.
    Good job with the birdhouses, TOP !!!
    Greetings Tinie

  23. Hello David,
    You and your friends do Such amazing work with the nest boxes.
    The pictures are beautiful.
    Best regards, Irma

  24. Hmm .... this post I missed apparently !! ??! ~ !!
    Luckily I still see him now. Really beautiful birds show you. The common grackle I knew all the mala not and the American robin is truly a beautiful bird. The Letné makes all voegls also sing again :-))))