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Click to go to Audubon Society of Omaha Home Page Audubon Society of OmahaEastern Bluebird

Welcome to The Bluebird Box since 1995
Best of Bluebird Mailing Lists Classified

Chickadees (Part 3)


Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001 11:30:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: Horace Sher hjsher1"at"yahoo.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"Cornell.edu
Subject: Chickadees taking a long time for incubation & being nestlings

Hi everyone..I want to share this info to whoever is interested in Chickadees (and anyone else of course) & maybe get some thoughts & feedback. I'm currently monitoring the nesting of 3 pairs of C. Chickadees (CACH), 1 my own & 2 that are in neighbor's yard. In the neighbor's, the nestlings are 22 days old & still in nest today. In mine the 5 eggs just hatched yesterday.. But the incubation for that one lasted very close to 18 days..maybe 19 days. And in the 3rd one (another neighbor's), that incubation lasted very close to 15 days before hatching. The books & people I've talked with on the list say incubation 11-13 days & nestling period 16 or 17 days. The mystery to me is why so long an incubation for 2 of them & why are the nestlings still in the box at around 22 days old for the other one. They look ok. Were just quiet when I checked them this morning. One additional thing with this nest, originally there were 4 eggs, but only had 3 hatchlings. Then after several days, there were only 2 nestlings, & now still those 2 up to now. Our weather for over a week prior to this little chilly spell that started yesterday was very mild, warm, & springlike. Anyone want to shed some light or knowledgable information about this? Any similar experiences? I appreciate your feedback....Horace in NC.

=====


Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 12:53:45 -0500
From: ds"at"comteck.com
To: "BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Chickadees

Yesterday I was checking the Chickadee nest box I have across the road that I haven't checked since sometime in early April or so. Anyway, I have a pair of Dees using it I watched them for a bit n seen 1/2 of the pair bringing food to what was in side I do know that the other half of the pair was inside most of the time I was watching. Then the last thing I seen was the pair switching off from being inside. Being that I don't know when the nest started ect. Can someone tell me if I have eggs or nestlings from what I just wrote?

Joleen in Indiana NorthCentral on the Eastern side Grant County


Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 14:19:00 -0400
From: "Katherine S. Wolfthal" kate"at"nirvana.weichi.com
To: Bluebird-L BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu,
Wendell Long Institute Wlinst"at"yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Fwd: [LnL] Bumblebees in Nestbox]

Can anyone help with this problem? Please reply to the sender of the forwarded Message.

Thanks!
--
Katherine
Weston, MA

My Chickadees need help ! Bumblebees are going in and out of the nestbox, and they are definitely disturbing a Dee that's either sitting on eggs or brooding hatchlings. I've been sitting and watching, and I see a bumblebee fly in and the Dee flies out. If their are baby birds will they be stung ? Help, please !

Anne Cape Cod
reklaw"at"mediaone.net


Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 14:34:19 -0400
From: Barb DeLong delong24"at"msu.edu
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Chickadees

My parents have a pair of chickadees starting to build a nest in their Stokes Bluebird House.

We want to know if we can check the nest like we do the blues - or will they abandon if they "smell" human contact?

We have checked the website link from the Bluebird Reference Guide, but it says nothing about being able to touch the nest, babies, etc. like we can the bluebird babies.

Also, that website has the information on nest building, egg laying, time until hatched and time until fledging occurs, but so the babies come back to the nest at all after they fledge? Or are they gone for good once they fledge like the blues?

If anyone can help us out on information on the Chickadees, we'd appreciate it!

Thanks!
Barb DeLong
Eaton Rapids, MI


Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 16:00:19 -0400 (EDT)
From: hubertrap"at"webtv.net (Joe Huber)
To: delong24"at"msu.edu, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Chickadees

Hello Barb, Yes you can touch the nest of the Chickadee without any problem. They do not tolerate as much as Bluebirds but I don't think human scent has anything to do with it. Just look quickly and don't mess up the nest. Once the young fly they have no use for the nest so will not return just like Bluebirds do. Joe Huber

Charter member NABS, Charter member OBS, Life member OBS Joe Huber
hubertrap"at"webtv.net

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/HOUSESPARROWCONTROL

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/RoostingBluebirds


Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 16:27:29 -0400 (EDT)
From: hubertrap"at"webtv.net (Joe Huber)
To: ds"at"comteck.com, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Chickadees

Hi Joleen, From what you wrote my guess is that eggs have hatched since the pair take turns staying in the box. At the very least eggs are being incubated. While the male cant do much on that part he can stay and guard the contents. It is ok to take a peek since Chickadees will not abandon because you looked. Joe Huber Venice, Fl.

Charter member NABS, Charter member OBS, Life member OBS Joe Huber
hubertrap"at"webtv.net

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/HOUSESPARROWCONTROL

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/RoostingBluebirds


Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 17:43:20 -0400
From: "Janice Petko" jpetko"at"neo.rr.com
To: "Cornell Bluebird-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Questions regarding chickadees

I have Black Capped Chickadees (BCCH) nests in 2 of my bluebird boxes. Since this is my experience with BCCH, I have several questions. There were eleven eggs in one box. I checked the box on 5/15 and 3 of the eggs had hatched. I checked it again on 5/17 and there were 5 nestlings. Today (5/20) there are still only 5 nestlings. My question is: how long should I leave the remaining 6 eggs in the nest? The second nest has 8 nestlings. They are 1 week old today. I checked the nest today and it is full of little black ants. If it was an EABL or TRES nest, I would make a new one out of dried grass. Since a BCCH nest is made of moss and lined with fur, would they accept a nest made out of dried grass? Should I just leave the nest alone and hope for the best?

Thank you.
Janice Petko
Canton, OH


Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 03:09:59 -0400
From: "Dave Bagley" bags"at"erols.com
To: "Cornell Bluebird-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Questions regarding chickadees

Hi Janice/All,

I wouldn't advise disturbing their nest, Chickadees are less tolerant of human intervention of their nests, even though they are social with humans and can be easily trained to eat out of your hand. I just had a nest of 6 Chickadees fledge on Saturday, and I only opened their box 4 times during the whole process, the first time I actually found the female still in the box and quickly but gently closed the box and backed off, the next two times were before the eggs hatched, and the only time after that was when the nestlings were about a week from fledging. I did peek in the hole with a flashlight in hand 2 days before fledging and saw one of the young ones looking right back at me so I assumed all was well and backed off.

There is still one thing you can do about those ants. There is an product called 'Terro Ant Killer II' that comes in a little bottle, it's a clear, syrup like substance. You can saturate each end of a Q-tip, and with a small piece of duct tape stick it to the bottom of the box on the OUTSIDE, that way, the birds can never come into contact with it. I've used this before after reading about it on another Bluebird list.

On a Gilbertson box I've stuck it to the underside of the roof on the block of wood right next to the hole that the pole goes into since that would be the first thing the ants come to once they climbed the pole.

Dave Bagley
Maryland
----- Original Message -----
From: Janice Petko=
To: Cornell Bluebird-L
Sent: Sunday, May 20, 2001 5:43 PM
Subject: Questions regarding chickadees

...


Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 10:44:51 -0400
From: DottyRogers"at"netscape.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: black-capped chickade sensitivity

I'm happy to hear Dave Bagley's opinion concerning chickades and their need for privacy. We've learned this one the hard way -- and now, if we see dees near a box, leave it alone until they're feeding week-old nestlings. We then do a single (quick) nose-count -- and that only when the adults are away from the box. Had great luck last year with 30 BCCH youngsters getting out of boxes; tripling earlier numbers.

(We also painted dee boxes to match surrounding, counter-shading etc, darkening area around hole so that house wrens don't "see" them as readily. Fingers crossed; no wren losses last year, and none so far this one, though they're around.)

Dot


Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 06:52:59 EDT
From: "Rwatts" rwatts"at"mymailstation.com
To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu, Bluebird"at"fsinc.com, WLInst"at"yahoogroups.com
Subject: current nests and oddities

Rhonda Watts
Wilton, N.H.

I currently have 13 EAstern BLuebird nestlings--3 nests of 4, 4, and 5. (The 4's each have an unhatched egg, which I decided to leave another day or two--the hot weather at the start of egg-laying did indeed seem to give the first-laid a head-start, so just in case... At least 9 TRES nests with 5-6 each, as well.

AND, 1 more nest has been claimed by EABLs! One of a pair right next to the neighbor's garden now has a nest less than 4 days after I first sighted the new pair. So that's one more than the last two years!

Now for the oddball nests. Remember the moss nest which then got a few dead leaves, then suddenly had a few bits of grass and two white eggs? The chickadee moved to the paired box, made another nest, and already has 5 eggs which she is incubating.

As for the original nest, nothing changed for several days so I investigated more closely. The 2 white eggs were still up near the side of the box, so I picked them out to see--both had been cracked and were stuck to the moss, so I chucked them away. No sign of the orig. dee eggs when I poked aroung. I left the moss nest in the box. Two days later, there were 2 more white eggs! But no change, no new egg, the next day. I'll make a guess that the dee was driven out by a TREe Swallow who started laying, and in scuffling the 2 TRES eggs got cracked? Anyway, it must have been one very lazy TRES, for here's a perfect moss nest with TRES eggs on top!

And yet one more odd nest. Started as a perfect TRES nest, had 4 eggs. Then I found a dead TRES about 20 yards from the box, and no more eggs appeared. I looked a couple of days later to find 2 TRES in there, same nest but couldn't see whether the eggs were still there. Two nights ago I checked it again--2 TRES swooping around, and an unidentified bird (light in the wrong direction!) perched on top, which flew off directly and unlike a TRES when I approached. Inside, there was a pine-needle nest on top of the old TRES grass nest. The only thing which makes me doubt that it could be an EABL nest is its shape. It has the flattened, slightly sloping outline of a TRES nest, instead of the neat EABL cup shape. So I dug out one more box which was ready and quickly put up a pair... We'll see what happens!

Rhonda


Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 00:22:01 -0400
From: Jason rifle"at"mediaone.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: I have chickadee's in one of my bluebird boxes, can I put a smaller hole size on box?

Hello,

I have some chickadee's that decided to use one of my BB boxes and I'm concerned about sparrows. I'd like to screw a piece of wood over the hole with a smaller hole that would keep the sparrows out? Do you think this would bother the chickadee's? If not, what size is small enough to keep out the sparrows? Thanks,

Jason


Date: Sat, 26 May 2001 20:18:23 -0400
From: "Dave Bagley" bags"at"erols.com
To: rifle"at"mediaone.net, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: I have chickadee's in one of my bluebird boxes, can I put a smaller hole size on box?

Hi Jason/All,

If you have a Wild Bird Center near you, they sell both Bluebird and Chickadee portals made of metal (screws included). The Chickadee portals are 1 1/8", and of course the Eastern Bluebird portals are 1 1/2".

Dave
Maryland

----- Original Message -----
From: Jason rifle"at"mediaone.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Sent: Friday, May 25, 2001 12:22 AM
Subject: I have chickadee's in one of my bluebird boxes, can I put a smaller
hole size on box?

...


Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2001 12:28:04 -0400
From: Barb DeLong delong24"at"msu.edu
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Disaster

On Cornell's Reference list under the BCCH it says the BCCH will attempt another brood if the first one fails, but is it considered a "failure" if the babies actually hatch? Should we remove the nest and the one egg that we put back into the nest or leave the egg and nest there and see if mama lays any other eggs? Or just remove the egg and leave the nest - help as soon as  possible is appreciated!

Thanks!

Barb DeLong
Eaton Rapids, MI


Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001 15:59:31 EDT
From: JaneHopeC"at"aol.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Chickadee fledging age?

Hi all,

Another question, this time about chickadees. All the references I have say that chickadess fledge between 16 -18 days. I have a box of 6 or 7 (remember the box with the hairs on it? ) 19 or 20 day old chickadee babies that have not yet fledged. The parents are still feeding them so I am sure all is well. I would just think, that as we all know birds don't read the books and every "rule" is not always followed except that this is my third experience of chickadees and both of the other two fledged at 18days+ - don't know exactly when as these were at a golf course where I was not observing every day as I am in my own yard. What dates of fledging have others with chickadees recorded? Anyone had them fledge as early as 16 days? From my experience 16 -18 days is not a good guide to chickadee fledging age. 18 -20 ( or maybe more! ) would be more accurate. I think it is important to find out what the real outside parameters are otherwise people will be opening the boxes expecting them to be empty and might cause fledging.

Jane
Pound Ridge
NY


Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001 16:42:51 EDT
From: LauraSue14"at"aol.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Chickadee fledging age?

Hi Jane and all,

I had 6 Black-Capped Chickadees fledge today at day 17 or 18. My reference from The Birdhouse Network says they fledge on day 16. Not even any spread mentioned (16-18 or 18-20). There was one egg unhatched left in the nest and it was very clean. This pair used a Gilbertson Nestbox, compared with last years' pair using an over-sized NABS Style Box with a HUGE nest built in it.

Laura, Marlborough, CT


Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001 01:35:49 -0700 (PDT)
From: Daniel Sparks dansparks_47448"at"yahoo.com
To: LauraSue14"at"aol.com, Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Chickadee fledging age?

--- LauraSue14"at"aol.com wrote:

Hi Jane and all,
I had 6 Black-Capped Chickadees fledge today at

...

Laura, Jane, and all,

I checked "A Guide To The Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of NA"--they state that black-capped chickadee young leave the nest at 16 days of age and the carolina chickadee leave the nest at day 17. No spread.

=====

Dan Sparks
P.O. Box 660
Brown County Bluebird Society
Nashville, IN 47448
dansparks_47448"at"yahoo.com


Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001 09:48:34 -0500
From: Kathleen Oschwald nestbox"at"1starnet.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Chickadee Fledging Age

First of all, are you certain the fledglings are 19-20 days old? Since at least one other person had chickadees fledge after 20 days, this may be another case where the books are wrong. It shows how valuable our observations can be.

Let us know when they finally fledge.

Kate Oschwald
Paris, TX
100 mi NE of Dallas


Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001 10:10:31 -0500
From: "Keith & Sandy Kridler" kridler"at"1starnet.com
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re:fledgling dates/tree swallows in martin houses

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas

I am pretty sure the single fledge dates for chickadees in many reference guides are repeats of typos just as the Ron Kingston stove pipe guard is repeated as a 7" diameter in most publications and even 5" diameter in others.   If they are not repeats then they are based on too small of a number of nests checked. I can assure you that every black capped chickadee or Carolina WILL NOT fledge at precisely 16 or 17 days! There is a 7 day spread of fledgling time documented on Eastern Bluebirds in parts of three counties in Texas over only 6 years from only 65 nestboxes.   Most books and many articles are based on a single persons experiences gathered from a relatively small area and a tiny population of the species. Add to this the fact that much proofreading and type setting is done by people who haven't ever opened up a nestbox.

Tree swallows in purple martin house: Lets see now, my printed information states that tree swallows will NOT nest closer than 10 feet away from another swallow. If nearly EVERY compartment is being taken over by swallows this has GOT to be a HUGE purple martin house! Or is this another case where these silly birds refuse to read and follow our directions:-)   Monitoring the boxes would be so much easier if the chickadees would just get out of the boxes on day 16 whether they were ready or not and swallows would quit nesting close together in some areas! If we keep placing boxes closer and closer together how many bird generations will it be before Tree swallows are colony nesters like the purple martins or barn swallows or cliff swallows ETC.

We are converting bluebirds from orchards and farmland to urban areas in many parts of the country. We just need to remember that this is an occupation that is evolving and changing as fast as we can type! KK


Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001 20:54:05 EDT
From: JaneHopeC"at"aol.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Chickadee Fledging Age

Hi all - especially those who answered about chickadee fledge dates.

Well first, these chickadees fledged today at 20 or 21 days old. I am quite sure of my dates. They had not hatched on Sat. May 20th but had by Tues. May 22 so they were born on either the 21st or 22nd making them 20 or 21 days old today. I agree with what some of you wrote that several of the books give just a single number - 16 - for chickadee fledging age, even "A Guide to Nests, Eggs and Nestlings of North America" by Baicich and Harrison. So I think Keith must have it right ( as he so often does! ) that somewhere a misprint has been handed down - kind of like chinese whispers. Just from what those who answered me said there is at least a spread from 17 - 21 days for chickadee fledging.

Second - "The Backyard Birdhouse Book" says in its chapter about chickadees that "Most young fledge in the morning, and the nest is completely abandoned within two hours of the first fledge." Well - another myth or misprint? I saw one fledge at about 9:30 AM ( may not have been the first to go ) another within the hour and another about a half hour later. I then stopped watching for awhile. I was outside again at about 3 PM and the parents were still making frequent trips to the box to feed. I couldn't stay to watch so don't know if they had all even fledged by the end of the day but it certainly didn't happen in 2 HOURS!!

I will keep an eye on the box in the morning and maybe look in tomorrow afternoon.

Third - I feel honored and lucky to have now seen chickadees AND bluebirds fledge!

Best wishes to all

Jane
Pound Ridge
NY


Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2001 21:08:40 EDT
From: LauraSue14"at"aol.com
To: JaneHopeC"at"aol.com, Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Chickadee Fledging Age

Hi Jane and all,

I'm not absolutely sure, but I think my chickadees fledged sometime Saturday morning. I heard the parents do much calling very early. Then during the day I watched as much as I could and didn't see the parents come to the box at all. Maybe mine did fledge in the morning, who knows? Of course, to me they are hard to watch as I think they are one of the stealthiest of birds! Finally I checked the box late in the day (maybe a bit risky) and all were gone. Isn't it great to see our box tenants fledge? I've seen many bluebirds fledge and still think it is the most wondrous thing!!

Laura, Marlborough, CT


Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 22:41:51 -0400
From: "Katherine S. Wolfthal" kate"at"nirvana.weichi.com
To: kridler"at"1starnet.com
Cc: BLUEBIRD-L BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: fledgling dates/tree swallows in martin houses

Keith & Sandy Kridler wrote:

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas

If they are not repeats then they are based on too small of a number of
nests checked. I can assure you that every black capped chickadee or
Carolina WILL NOT fledge at precisely 16 or 17 days!

In fact the BC chickadees in my Gilbertson box hatched over a two-day period and fledged after 18 days, counting from the second hatch date. If you count from the first hatch date, they fledged at 19 days.

Katherine
Weston, MA


Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 19:52:47 -0600
From: "Ed and Bonnie Baker" bakerbon"at"earthlink.net
To: "Bluebird-L" Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: chickadees

To all:

Checked a Chickadee nestbox on my trail today; ELEVEN little beaks!!! Three to four days' old.

Is that a record?

Will they be able to keep all those mouths fed?

Bonnie Boex
Dillon, CO


Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 22:11:10 -0400
From: "Gary Springer" springer"at"alltel.net
To: bakerbon"at"earthlink.net
Cc: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu,
"Gary Springer" springer"at"alltel.net
Subject: Re: chickadees

Hi Bonnie,

Congratulations on such a large clutch of Chickadees.

I had a single mother successfully fledge 6 this spring so if she is getting help from her mate, they will probably do ok but it will be a lot of work, especially during the last few days they are in the nest box and shortly after fledge.

Make sure you take the time to observe the nest box through binoculars from a distant location while sitting in a folding chair during these last few days because the activity will amaze you. If you happened to see them fledge, I believe it will be an experience you will cherish for the rest of your life.

Gary Springer

----- Original Message -----
From: Ed and Bonnie Baker
To: Bluebird-L
Sent: Saturday, June 16, 2001 9:52 PM
Subject: chickadees

...


Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2001 12:44:49 -0400
From: "Gary Springer" springer"at"alltel.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu, "Greg Beavers" gbeav"at"jboxford.com
Cc: "Gary Springer" springer"at"alltel.net
Subject: Chickadees & Eastern Bluebirds

I have been asked by a very successful bluebird trail operator what he might do to attract chickadees to his nest boxes.

The most often cited strategy for becoming a successful Chickadee landlord is to place nest boxes closer to forest or trees.

In my experience the chickadee prefers nest boxes mounted on poles in open areas as does the Eastern Bluebird, not in or beneath trees or tree branches. I've seen them nest half a mile from the nearest densely vegetated area, and more than a mile from habitat that could be considered forest. But, it does seem to require far less open space than what the bluebird prefers. While the Eastern Bluebird prefers to nest near large open areas in which it hunts insects that live near the ground, the chickadee will readily nest in a nest box placed in an opening in mature forest less than 100 feet in diameter because much of its fare comes from small insects living in tree branches.

If you are having an 80 percent or higher bluebird occupancy rate on your trail, unless you add a lot of nest boxes, you probably won't have much success with chickadees. A bluebird will be successful against a chickadee every time when in competition for a nest site. There are no tree swallows on my trail but I'm quite sure the smaller chickadee would also be extremely unsuccessful in competing with them as well.

Although the chickadees here in Northeast Georgia may begin nest building a week or two earlier than the Eastern Bluebird, both species actually begin to investigate nest sites about the same time. When a bluebird sees a chickadee on a box, in my experience it will chase it away very quickly. The much smaller chickadee might well risk its life if it skirmished with the bluebird, and, since at the investigation stage it doesn't have any investment in the box, it most often moves on.

When I lived in McKee's Rocks, a densely populated part of Pittsburgh, I was immediately successful in attracting chickadees to nest boxes.

Shortly after I moved to rural Georgia, I saw my first bluebird. To accommodate them, the first boxes I put up here had the inch and a half entrance hole size. At first I had nothing but bluebirds nest in nest boxes, no chickadees. But, I continued to put up more nest boxes in the same area thereby increasing the nest box density. When there were 4 or 5 nest boxes staggered over each 100 yard distance, chickadees began nesting simultaneously with bluebirds throughout the trail.

Most bluebirders are experiencing repeat nestings separated by less than a week or two in the same nest box. In my opinion, this indicates a shortage of nesting sites. In my experience the bluebird prefers not to nest in a box that just fledged bluebirds. But if boxes are spaced 100 yards apart, they nest repeatedly in the same nest box out of necessity

If nest boxes are placed 50 to 75 feet apart, in my experience, Eastern Bluebirds will select nest boxes that did not recently fledge birds unless the nest box has some other greater advantage over a nearby alternate box such as mounting height, proximity to trees, or nest box type preference.

This factor probably makes it even more important to increase nest box density to have simultaneous success with bluebirds and chickadees. Add competition for nest boxes from tree swallows into the mix and it seems the density of nest boxes required to successfully fledge the much smaller chickadee would have to be even higher.

Considering this high level of competition for nesting sites with the larger bluebird and tree swallow, as well the house sparrow and house wren, and because the chickadee nests only once each year, it's surprising we haven't had a severe decline in populations of the smaller chickadee. Ironically, its small size may well be one factor that makes it more successful. With the exception of the house wren, the chickadee can occupy cavities too small for these other birds to enter.

And, providing nest boxes with inch and a quarter entrance holes or even inch and an eighth entrance holes might increase the chances of attracting chickadees to nest boxes on an established bluebird trail with high occupancy rates. But, I can not comment on the success of this approach because I have never tried it. I preferred to increase the density of nest boxes because it was my intention to attract as many other native song bird species as possible, not only Eastern Bluebirds and Chickadees, but Tufted Titmice, Carolina Wrens, nuthatches and so forth as well. In fact, I recently increased the entrance holes on several of my nest boxes to inch and three quarters in an attempt to have Crested Flycatchers nest in them. Further, in my experience, the chickadee prefers the larger inch and a half hole. Therefore, I provide nest boxes with the larger hole and reduce the hole size after the chickadee begins incubating.

Whatever it is that this little gray, black and white cavity nesting bird is doing that makes it successful without much help from nest box landlords, I sure hope it keeps doing it. But, it would be wise for folks to experiment with attracting these little gems to nest box trails because no one knows how they will fare in years to come.

Gary Springer,

Writing from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Northeast Georgia, further north than most of South Carolina and a bit of North Carolina.

Most extensive source of Bluebird information http://audubon-omaha.org/bbbox/bestofbbml/bblindx.htm 

Real Bird Homes www.realbirdhomes.com 


Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2001 13:08:40 EDT
From: DBLeep"at"aol.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Chickadees

I enjoyed Gary Springer's nformative posting about Chickadees and Bluebirds. I have a large 2-story deck upon which I have a few nestboxes attached to the deck posts, all with 1 1/8" openings. The closest trees are all from 15 to 60 feet away from the deck. Ash trees , hackberry trees and Scotch pines which the chicadees seem to love in the winter. For the last 2 years, I have had the delight of a pair of chickadees nesting in one of these nestboxes. 1 1/8" is supposed to exclude sparrows, and it does. My point is that these boxes are near trees, but not under them, and the chickadees seem to love them.(Complication here was that the box the chickadees chose this year had a roof that opened by lifting it up, and the sparrows unfortunately and amazingly kept trying to get in under the "eaves" of the slanted roof. Even though they were unsuccessful, they did scare away the chickadees, with all their hassling. I plan to replace this design with the side opening which they can't do anything about.)I don't know if this helps, but I hope so.

Katrina
Central Kentucky


Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2001 13:32:04 -0400
From: Bill & Dot Forrester wforres1"at"twcny.rr.com
To: bluebird-l bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Chickadees & Eastern Bluebirds

I am all in favor of Gary's plea to provide more housing for chickadees. Here in the Lake Ontario snowbelt north of Syracuse NY, chickadees often explore or begin to build in my bluebird boxes but are almost always chased out by bluebirds and tree swallows. My acre yard has thin woods in the back, but this is no good for chickadees because wrens usually take any box in that area. For the last few years I have been hanging a few boxes with 1-1/4 entrance hole and also hanging standard boxes with 1-1/2" hole, and they are used more and more by chickadees. The bluebirds and tree swallows seem to prefer post mounted boxes, and so far have left the hanging ones alone to be used by chickadees. I hang these boxes well away from the woodsy area, on shepherd's crook-type poles meant for hanging baskets or on standard metal posts set in the middle of flower beds and the garden, well out in the open. It helps that I have a few large and small trees scattered around the yard. When housing is in short supply, I am finding that chickadees will readily accept less-than-perfect boxes and locations. My solution may work well for all of you who cannot put up any more bluebird boxes on posts in a given area - as it is, my husband finds it almost impossible to mow the lawn around all those poles with bluebird boxes.

Dot

Gary Springer wrote:

And, providing nest boxes with inch and a quarter entrance holes or even
inch and an eighth entrance holes might increase the chances of attracting
chickadees to nest boxes on an established bluebird trail with high
occupancy rates. But, I can not comment on the success of this approach
because I have never tried it.


Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2001 12:46:15 -0500
From: "dottie price" yumyumkatts"at"voyager.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Chickadees

I have a lot of Blackcapped Chickadees coming to my feeder tray on the second story deck rail. There is a large sazzzfras tree close by the deck. It seems that all the birds really like this tree being so close to the feeder tray. They fly back and forth. Mom Red Bellied Woodpecker is taking her baby back and forth now. I think she is trying to get it to eat on it's own but it keeps following Mom.

I haven't had any Chickadees to try to nest in my BB boxes but I did have a Chickadee nest in a BB box I monitor that fledged five Chickadees this spring. This box is on the side of the road on the stop sign. Currently, the box has four BB babies. My other, most successful box and another one I monitor, is also on a stop sign by the road. It's had two fledges of BB's already this season and is now waiting on the third nesting. These boxes, to me, don't sound as if they are in as good a place as mine here at the house, but they do better.

Dottie, Brown County, Indiana


Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2001 12:56:12 -0500
From: "dottie price" yumyumkatts"at"voyager.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Shepherd's Crooks

Dot,

Very interesting about using the shepherd's crooks for hanging boxes. I did see a BB supergourd on a shepherd's crook on the PMCA site.

I'm trying to figure out what to do with my expensive "death trap" Martin House. I wonder if I could use it for Chickadee housing? I'm having my husband put up a wooden pole to put squirrel feeders on and maybe I could put the Martin House on that. What do all you Birders think. I would like to use it for something more than a flower pot. I don't want to modify it for martins--I'm getting supergourds for them.

Dottie, Brown County, Indiana


Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2001 14:54:22 -0400
From: "Maynard Sumner" msumner6"at"home.com
To: "Bluebird - List" bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Chickadees & Eastern Bluebirds

Almost 1/3 of my boxes are Black-Cap Chickadees.

Maynard Sumner Flint, Michigan

NABS OBS MBRP OBC NAHC NAFC

-----Original Message-----

From: Bill & Dot Forrester wforres1"at"twcny.rr.com
To: bluebird-l bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Date: Saturday, June 30, 2001 1:28 PM
Subject: Re: Chickadees & Eastern Bluebirds

...


Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2001 15:56:08 EDT
From: LauraSue14"at"aol.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Chickadees & Eastern Bluebirds

Gary Springer wrote:

Shortly after I moved to rural Georgia, I saw my first bluebird. To

...

This is just what is happening in my yard (no trail). I have 7 boxes up total now in about a 2 acre area, not all 100 yds. apart. Last year a pair of bluebirds and a pair of chickadees did nest about 100 yds. apart separated by a stand of trees (4 boxes available). This year the bluebirds nested first in a Peterson box in the back yard, fledged 5, then moved to the front yard to a NABS box (nest built in 4 days) that was paired with a Gilbertson for their second nesting with chickadees nesting 15 feet away. Both fledged successfully. Now the bluebirds moved to a third box and the female has completed her nest just 4 days after fledging the second brood. I have a family of Tufted Titmice around as well, but haven't had them use a nest box yet, they must have a natural cavity somewhere. Maybe one day all three species and maybe Nuthatches as well will use the boxes scattered around my yard. I guess you could call it high density of nest boxes in my yard with the intention of attracting as many species as I can. (No House Sparrows or Wrens, yet!!! and no Tree Swallows either). It seems to be working in my area.

Laura, Marlborough, CT


Date: 30 Jun 2001 22:33:14 -0000
From: "Stan, St. Paul, MN \[444355N -- 0931303W\]" stan_bb"at"Messagez.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu, WLInst"at"yahoogroups.com
Subject: Attracting/Feeding Chickadees

Congratulations and thanks, Gary, for a GREAT Post of Chickadees and Bluebirds!

First, I don't have any answers to attracting the BCCs (black-capped chickadees)...purely happenstance for me. When living in a single residence home in Kokomo, IN prior to retiring to St. Paul, MN (to be closer to our two sons and "adopted" daughters -- "adopted" via holy matrimony), I had a few bird houses in our backyard, including a wren house (with one-half the roof that would swing open--for viewing and/or cleaning) hanging from a tree limb, maybe six feet above ground level. One day my wife noticed a lot of activity at the box with the BCCs flying in and out. As I was riding our lawn mower, it was convenient to stop beneath, standing on the mower, I could peer into the house. And, by and by, there were six black little heads therein. After that I didn't peer in much; for fear of causing pre-mature fledging.

Of course, this SAME wren (now, chickadee) house accompanied us to our Townhome in St. Paul; and I have it hanging in a neighbor's tree...and you guessed it...NO takers in five years...no BCCs, no HOWR (house wrens), no EABL (Eastern bluebirds). Also, I have two other bird houses available, not to mention three others of neighbors. Starting last August, BCCs appeared; and have been feeding them meal worms (but that's another chapter); and with their consumption of meal worms, suspected they were feeding babies somewhere nearby, but still not sure where. Well, the babies appeared in nearby trees a few days ago; and last evening, THREE of them appeared -- for a brief debut -- on our deck. My, they looked SHARP, as though dressed in their tuxedos for their grand debut! The parents were feeding them meal worms from saucer I was holding in my hand; and shortly the babies retreated to nearby trees for continuing their dinner.

Happy birding, EveryBIRDie!

Stan

I'm going to leave your Post below, Gary, should anyone have missed it.

************************

On Sat, 30 Jun 2001 12:44:49 -0400 Gary Springer springer"at"alltel.net wrote:

I have been asked by a very successful bluebird trail operator what he might

...


Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2001 09:50:42 -0400
From: "Michael L. McCartney" mmccartn"at"bellatlantic.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Chickadees & Eastern Bluebirds

Bill and Dot

In my experience, I have found that location is the determining factor. I have 40 Blue Bird boxes all of the same design. 7 of them are located along the edges of narrow fields (about 60' wide). The fields are surrounded by woods. So far this year, 5 of the 7 have had Chickadees raising their young. In total 36 Fledglings have left the nests so far. 2 of them currently have 2nd nests and there are currently 9 eggs remaining to hatch. The other boxes are located in open fields. The Chickadees don't seem to care for these.

Mike

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill & Dot Forrester wforres1"at"twcny.rr.com
To: bluebird-l bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Date: Saturday, June 30, 2001 1:28 PM
Subject: Re: Chickadees & Eastern Bluebirds

...


Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 08:33:59 -0400
From: "Kromel, Terri" tkromel"at"state.pa.us
To: "'bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu'" bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: RE: another non-bluebird story!

Black capped Chickadees have always been a dependable species for me when doing education programs with students. If I can get the children to sit still and quiet enough for a short time, usually a little "pishing" will bring them right back to the feeders and the students can practice using binoculars to observe them and get a chance to observe their behavior for a while. Sometimes the "pishing" isn't even necessary. Being a species that is easily recognized, most kids remember them by name after they leave.

I have a very active pair of Carolina Wrens in my back yard. I had been hearing a call that I thought might be the wrens, but I haven't been sure due to not being able to see the bird and hear the call at the same time (and it's not included on my CD). This past weekend one of the wrens sat on my garden fence and made this call repeatedly. How nice to learn a new call and be sure who made it!

Getting ready for another hot humid day in PA!

Terri Kromel
Dauphin County
Harrisburg, PA


From: DBLeep"at"aol.com
Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2002 18:00:14 EST
Subject: chickadees
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

The pair of chickadees that frequent my back yard have been in and out of the 2 or 3 birdhouses I left up last spring.( all cleaned out after nesting season!)

We have had very cold temperatures and snow recently in Kentucky. Could they be sheltering there out of the cold? Do chickadees do that? If so, what a nice thought.

Katrina


Date: Sun, 06 Jan 2002 18:46:08 -0500
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)
From: Wendell Long mrsimple"at"go-concepts.com
Subject: Re: chickadees

At 06:00 PM 1/6/2002 -0500, DBLeep"at"aol.com wrote:
The pair of chickadees that frequent my back yard have been in and out

...

Dear Katrina,
I think the answer is yes. I have seen that a few times. Another experience: When I was a kid growing up down in Hell's Neck,  Kentucky(in Western Part of State near Rosine in Ohio County) I had a Rhode Island Red sleeping in old blues dog house on the second floor.

Wendell Long
Waynesville, Ohio


Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 10:35:27 -0800 (PST)
From: Rob Yaksich rangerrobnm"at"yahoo.com
Subject: chickadee/swallow specs
To: BB-L BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L),
NB-L NESTBOX-L"at"cornell.edu (NESTBOX-L)

Rob Yaksich
Albuquerque, NM
cloudy and showers possible (THANK GOD!)

Hello friends-

I was looking at some specs on the BHNW site and had a question about entrance sizes. It listed the size for tree/violet-green swallows as 1 3/8" diameter, just a bit bigger than the 1 3/8" mentioned for mountain chickadees and rb nuthatches. Since I am trying to attract all four of these birds at my State Park in a heavily forested, steep-walled canyon above Santa Fe, would it be feasible to make some smallish houses with the 1 3/8" entrances to accommodate (sp?) all 4 species? I know that probably isn't likely, but I wanted your thoughts. Is it really true that swallows will enter a hole 1 3/8" diameter? That seems awfully skinny. THANKS!

R


Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 14:02:05 -0800
From: Hatch Graham birdsfly"at"innercite.com
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: NESTBOX-L"at"cornell.edu (NESTBOX-L)
CC: "BB-L (BLUEBIRD-L)" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: chickadee/swallow specs

We use a standard bluebird nestbox for most species. 1.5" (sometimes 1-9/16th) works for all the species because a cavity is a cavity. Most of these birds depend on a primary cavity-nest builder like the woodpeckers for what they get in nature. Most of the woodpeckers build closer to a 2 to 2.5" hole.

We reduce the size to prevent use by House Sparrows and predation by Corvids and other larger birds; but we have chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, tree and violet-green swallows, Bewick's and House Wrens using the standard bluebird box. Those who argue for biodiversity and want to attract a greater variety of species have used the smaller hole-sizes and the result has been less diversity rather than more. Why exclude the bluebirds? If bluebirds are so abundant, simply put up more houses at less than the territorial distance that prevents bluebirds from nesting in all of them. If this causes swallows to increase and use more than their share, then pair the boxes at about 15' distance or less. This is closer than most swallows will tolerate intraspecific rivalry. I have had paired boxes with the following combinations: WEBL/TRES, ATFL/WEBL, OATI/WEBL, OATI/TRES, WBNU/WEBL, WEBL/HOWR (must be 15' or less), HOWR/TRES (same). Another way to insure diversity is to locate the boxes in the preferred habitat of the target species.

Last year, I fledged 6 TRES from a Kestral box with a 3" hole. In compiling our annual report, I see that Kevin Putman had 38 nestings fledging 105 bluebirds in his 46-box Wood Duck trail; besides the bluebirds he also had 4 kestrel nestings for 20 fledgings, and 9 Barn Owls with 35 young fledged.

My thesis is: Make the entrance as large as you can commensurate with protection of resultant users. I like to promote all cavity-nesters who've taken short shrift over the years.
Good luck to you.
Hatch Graham, Cal Bluebird Recovery Program
Editor, Bluebirds Fly!
Somerset, El Dorado Co, Calif
Writing from 3100' in the Central Sierra where it's been snowing all day.

Rob Yaksich wrote:

Rob Yaksich
Albuquerque, NM
cloudy and showers possible (THANK GOD!)

...


From: "Stan, Apple Valley/St. Paul, MN [44.44N, -93.10W]" stan1bb"at"frontiernet.net
To: bluebird"at"fsinc.com, "BB" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L),
mnbird"at"linux.winona.msus.edu
Subject: Northern Michigan Birding Newsletter - "ChickaDEElight" article
Date: Sat, 2 Mar 2002 19:57:10 -0600

Hello EveryBIRDie!

"Here, chick-a-dee-dee-dee! Here, chick-chick-chick-a-dee-dee!" Snow or no snow in MinneSNOWta, it's time to put mealworms out for our chickadees. Thought you might be interested in the article about my hand-feeding chickadees ["ChickaDEElight"] in March issue of Northern Michigan Birding Newsletter:

http://www.northbirding.com/writings/smerrill/chickadee.htm

Happy "ChickaDEEing!"

Stan

note: link change was made at Stan's request


Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 18:17:14 -0500
From: "v. m. straus" v.m.straus"at"mail.wdn.com
To: "List, Bluebird" bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Bluebird Box Inhabitants

Someone may have asked this question before, but I don't remember the answer, so I'll ask.

I have a successful bluebird box, the Gilbertson PVC type, in a completely unlikely place, a small cleared area in an oak forest within 30 feet from my house. It has attracted bluebirds and fledged bluebirds for 2 years. I have already had multiple visits this year from returning bluebirds (and several others -- probably the returning birds' kids) scoping out the box for this season's nesting.

So, I fixed up its alternate box. I keep an identical PVC box which I switch with the other for the 2nd nesting each season to avoid delays between nestings.

This year, however, I spiffed up the alternate box, with a 2nd roof, put it in a separate location, etc. I even cleared out a *far* larger space which should be much better for the bluebirds than the original space and it is located far enough away and with our house in between that it is "isolated" from the original house. So, there should be no conflict.

However, there was a cold, rainy snap immediately after I put up the 2nd box and the bluebirds have not shown up at either location again yet.

But, guess what? Enterprising as they are, a chickadee (or, chickadees) is/are acting like the bluebird box is the ideal box for nesting and zips into it every morning, disappears for awhile, then perches on the entrance and looks around a long time, then goes back in and then back out again. Just like the female bluebird does when she is building a nest.

So, my question is, if anyone knows -- when the bluebirds decide to come back and they find the new house, but in a better location, will they avoid it because a chickadee has taken it, or will they take the box from the chickadee? VMS


From: TomGaryH"at"aol.com
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 23:16:02 EST
Subject: Re: Bluebird Box Inhabitants
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Hi VM,
I've had one experience with eastern bluebird-carolina chickadee competition. It involved three nestboxes all within sight of each other. Two boxes were about 25 foot apart and these were 50 foot distant from the third. Both species had been in the area all winter. The chickadees seemed to be  waiting for the bluebirds to nest. The bluebirds seemed to be unable to decide on a box to build in. The chickadees started putting moss in one of  the boxes and the bluebirds harassed, driving the chickadees to one of the other boxes where the dees began anew with the moss. Once again the bluebirds harassed and drove the dees out of the area. The blues still couldn't decide upon a box so I removed the box that had not been involved in the competition. The blues immediately began building in one of the remaining two boxes. Tufted titmouses (titmice) built in the other box. Initially, there was some interaction between the tufteds and the blues but that was straightened out. I believe, but can not be certain, the chickadees nested in a fourth box located about 300 foot from where they had attempted to nest before the blues chased them away. It's difficult to predict what may happen at your place. Seems like you cleared an area in the front of your house or perhaps on one side along the driveway. I think two pair of blues could nest at your place, but a pair may not want to nest over a completed dee nest in a round PVC box. You've certainly had bluebirds nesting in what I think is a more natural setting, but not one that is normally associated with eastern bluebirds. I think others would find it interesting if you described the extent of the trees and other vegetation where those bluebirds nest in relation to nearby open areas which, when on your back deck, is lost from view and dismissed from mind. It reminded me of cool Allegheny Mountain forest.
Tom Heintzelman, Milton, FL


Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2002 17:47:33 -0500
From: "v. m. straus" v.m.straus"at"mail.wdn.com
To: "List, Bluebird" bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Bluebird Box Inhabitants II

Well, here's the next installment.

Looks like the bluebirds are too complacent. They wander by the area one to three times a day or if the weather is bad not at all. But there's no bluebird nest building activity. They haven't touched one of the 2 boxes today, to our knowledge.

However, the chickadees -- at least the female (I guess it's female, since it's impossible for me to tell) today was constantly building in the new bluebird box. She went in approximately every 60 seconds with a bit of nesting material.

BUT, about half way through the morning, another chickadee started visiting the box after every visit by the nest-building female. The second chickadee came out with HUGE beaks full of the nesting materials and flew away with them and kept returning to remove more every time the nest-building chickadee left. The second chickadee would perch on a branch nearby and when the nest building bird would leave, the nest destroying bird would go to the box, hang on and look around and then pop in, gather up a large amount of nesting material and fly away with it.

The nest building bird knew this was going on, since she even went in the box a few times while the nest destroying bird was there.

Has anyone seen this behavior before? The nest destroying chickadee was removing such huge amounts that the nest building bird couldn't possibly keep up with the destruction. Finally, around 1:30 or 2:00, there was no more activity.

I've never seen that type of activity before. I couldn't tell if it was a black capped chickadee that was destroying a Carolina chickadee's nesting or what. We've always "known" that the only chickadees we have are Carolina, but now I'm wondering.

Any knowledgeable comments are welcome. VMS


From: "Norrie Franko" nfranko"at"vaxxine.com
To: "BLUE BIRDS" BLUEBIRD-L"at"CORNELL.EDU
Subject: out of touch
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 19:55:50 -0600

Hi All,
I have successfully moved to the shores of Lake Erie. I am hoping I  have left my old property in good hands. A question or two. I do not  know if I will manage to get a pair of blues this year but I have a  chance of getting chickadees, they are everywhere. For those of you who  have had success with black capped chickadees. How far apart should I mount the boxes?How high? Also how far apart should I mount the boxes for tree swallows? How high? Thanks Norrie
Dunnville, ON 42.8445 N 79.6098 W


From: DBLeep"at"aol.com
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2002 11:20:17 EST
Subject: chickadee questions
To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Does anyone know whether or not chickadees are nesting yet or not, in this area? I live in Central Kentucky, and see no activity in my chickadee nest boxes. I did not keep a record of the exact time of year from previous years, but I feel as if I am not going to have any luck with nesting chickadees this year.
Katrina


From: "Bruce & Linda Jenkins" ljenkins1"at"cox-internet.com
To: DBLeep"at"aol.com, "BLUEBIRD-L" bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: chickadee questions
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2002 11:18:04 -0600

I am a newbie to this so excuse my ignorance but I have several chickadees at my window feeders. I was assuming they might take up my BB houses and I would add more houses seeking coexsistance. Is there a style of Chikadee box I could build? Would doing so help influence who nests were? Bruce Jenkins Siloam Springs Ar.

----- Original Message -----
From: DBLeep"at"aol.com
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Sent: Tuesday, March 26, 2002 10:20 AM
Subject: chickadee questions

...


Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2002 08:41:42 -0600
To: "Bruce & Linda Jenkins" rojo"at"tcainternet.com, DBLeep"at"aol.com,
"BLUEBIRD-L" bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
From: Kate Oschwald bbnestbox"at"1starnet.com
Subject: Re: chickadee questions

At 11:18 AM 3/26/02 -0600, Bruce & Linda Jenkins wrote:
I am a newbie to this so excuse my ignorance but I have several

...

The bluebirds are more likely to take nestboxes away from the chickadees.

A regular bluebird nestbox would serve very well for chickadees, but once you know a chickadee is actively nesting, you can place a hole restrictor over the entrance hole to "downsize" it to 1-1/8". This prevents birds such as house sparrows and bluebirds from evicting the smaller chickadees. Some people put up special chickadee houses with 1-1/8" holes, only to find that they choose the nestboxes with the larger holes!

Kate Oschwald
Paris, TX
100 mi NE of Dallas
33.6853N 95.6293W


From: "Cameron" cscott5"at"charter.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: chicadee vs Blues problem
Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 15:33:25 -0500

i have 2 boxes in my backyard. both with mono a pair of blues put in grasses almost had a perfact nest built in one . A chicadee took all the grasses out and started putted in mosses and stuff in it i want the blues to stay but what about the chicadees


Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 19:36:46 EDT
From: "Rwatts" rwatts"at"mymailstation.com
To: cscott5"at"charter.net, bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)
Subject: Re:chicadee vs Blues problem

i have 2 boxes in my backyard. both with mono a pair of blues put in grasses almost had a perfact nest built in one . A chicadee took all the grasses out and started putted in mosses and stuff in it i want the blues to stay but what about the chicadees

Enjoy the chickadees! They are just as delightful in their own way. The blues may decide on the other nestbox, or take back the original.

I had a pair of boxes last year, in one of which a chickadee had made a nearly complete nest. Along came a tree swallow and usurped it (and it must have been a *very* lazy tree swallow, because she simply added a few feathers to the mossy nest--resulting in a *very* peculiar looking
nest!!) The chickadee rather philosophically moved to the other box. Both successfully raised a good brood.

Rhonda Watts
Wilton, N.H.


From: "Karen Louise Lippy" brdbrain"at"superpa.net
To: rwatts"at"mymailstation.com
Cc: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re:chicadee vs Blues problem
Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 20:28:44 -0400

Rhonda,

Nice reply. I read once that one of the reasons tree swallows usurp nests from other birds was because they can save a few days building their own nests by taking one from others. Because they can't tolerate hot weather, it is important to them to nest quickly before the season advances too far. It is only a theory, but perhaps a grassy nest added to a box beside an occupied one would invalidate the need for swallows to compete with the present species in control of the box. Karen from South Central PA

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rwatts" rwatts"at"mymailstation.com
To: cscott5"at"charter.net; "BLUEBIRD-L" bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2002 7:36 PM
Subject: Re:chicadee vs Blues problem

...


From: "Cameron" cscott5"at"charter.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Chicadee vs blue outcome
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2002 15:14:03 -0500

today after school i checked the box that the blue and chicadees had been fighting over the chicadee has a full nest and was laying on it i shut the lid and went inside i guess the chicadee is here to stay hope the blue moves into the other box thanks for the help


From: "MJShearer" eshearer"at"attbi.com
To: blueburd"at"srnet.com, "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Nest Identification
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 16:11:22 -0400

Susan Smith ( Mt. Holyoke College) has done extensive research on the black-capped chickadee's social structure. Interesting read if you can find it....

A chickadee is incubating 5 eggs in one of my nest boxes, and today I discovered the titmouse has been hiding 7 eggs in her nest! :-)

I believe it's OK to remove chickadee nests *after* the nestlings have fledged -- as is the case with bluebirds.

MJ
(Mary Jane Shearer; Tucker, GA)
 

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce Burdett" blueburd"at"srnet.com
To: mwoodard"at"pop500.gsfc.nasa.gov; "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Sent: Monday, April 15, 2002 2:33 PM
Subject: Re: Nest Identification

...


From: "Bruce Burdett" blueburd"at"srnet.com
To: BLACKIEV"at"aol.com, rwatts"at"mymailstation.com
Cc: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L), WLInst"at"yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: chicadee vs Blues problem
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 11:27:33 -0400

Blackie, et al
When my Bluebird houses attract nesting Chickadees, House Wrens, Titmice, or Nuthatches, I conclude that the houses are not far enough out into a wide-open clearing, i.e. they are too close to thickets, tree lines, bushes, woods, or buildings, especially houses.

I keep a Bluebird house in my back yard which is hemmed in by the forest. I've never seen a Bluebird in my yard, ever, and I never expect to, but the Chickadees nest in this house routinely.

Remember that all the birds mentioned above are native songbirds, and as such they are protected by law. Bruce Burdett, SW NH


Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 15:27:01 -0500
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)
From: Kate Oschwald bbnestbox"at"1starnet.com
Subject: Re: chicadee vs Blues problem

At 11:04 AM 4/16/02 -0400, you wrote:
Hi there. We just put up our first box and within a couple of days we

...

As new birders you may not realize that chickadees are just as badly in need of housing as bluebirds, and are protected by law. The only nests you can legally remove while they are being used are those of house sparrows and European starlings.

If you only have a single nestbox, go ahead and put up another one so you can enjoy both bluebirds AND chickadees.

Kate Oschwald
Paris, TX
100 mi NE of Dallas
33.6853N 95.6293W


Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2002 17:34:56 -0500
Subject: HOSP and Chickadees :-(
From: Judy Dorsey jdorsey"at"midsouth.rr.com
To: bluebirds and cavity-nesting birds BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

I'm hoping someone on the list can advise me. Even though this is not about Bluebirds, you folks are the most alert about House Sparrows of all the lists I subscribe to.

We have never seen even one HOSP around where we live, so I had a false sense of security. Seemingly out of nowhere and very quickly a male HOSP came in the late afternoon Friday and killed and ejected the newly-hatched Carolina Chickadee babies in our front porch nest box. Needless to say, we were devasted, and it was hard to watch the parents Friday and yesterday. They kept returning to the box, sometimes with insects. Yesterday afternoon the HOSP suddenly returned and attacked one of the parents as it attempted to go inside the box. I haven't seen either Chickadee or HOSP today.

The box is a Cedar log type shown here: http://www.birdhouseofcapemay.com/catalog.htm  It was used as a winter roost by a Downy Woodpecker, who apparently enlarged the 1.25" entrance hole so that it is now almost 1.5" in diameter. I moved box & hung it from the front porch ceiling, positioned so it can be seen from window when using the computer. It was immediately spotted by the Chickadees, and 2 of them plus a helper Chickadee constructed a nest in no time at all.

Should we make a Huber trap and install it in the box and wait for the HOSP to return? Move the box and reduce the entrance hole, hoping that the Chickadees will return? Should we remove the Chickadee nest? I am confused.

My husband wants to wait for the HOSP to return to the box, then rush out and plug the entrance hole and "take care of him." Is this even practical?

We have 2 Bluebird boxes with one family of 5 babies that just fledged; the other box is unoccupied. Checking both daily. These 2 boxes are in open, sunny areas and have Kingston snake/predator guards.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Thanks,
Judy Dorsey
West Tennnessee


From: "Keith & Sandy Kridler" kridler"at"1starnet.com
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re:Hosp and Chickadees
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 07:11:58 -0500

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas

For Chickadees you can reduce the enlarged hole down to 1&1/8" and this will keep out the House Sparrows. "Some", probably not all House Sparrows can and do nest in round precisely made holes as small as 1&1/4" that I have measured to .001 of an inch with calipers.

   Move the chickadee boxes (or build more) to more wooded areas nearby as they probably will look for a safer "new" location. To attract the sparrow for later trapping provide a nestbox with a 1&3/8" round hole (this will exclude most bluebirds and sparrows like this size hole) and mount the box (or boxes) in a more open area of the yard as sparrows also like to be out away from heavy woods. I would either build a "Joe Huber" style live trap to place in the box IF or when the sparrows return or go ahead and order one of the commercial traps like Van Ert's or one of the many "Huber" styles on the
market. Also place some of the 1&1/2" round holed nestboxes in the yard for bluebirds. When you eliminate the House Sparrows you can increase the entrance hole of the "trap" boxes back to 1&1/2" to attract the bluebirds.

   These extra boxes are expensive mail ordered but look around for wood crafters in the area and give them plans to a GOOD style NABS approved nestbox(es) and ask them to build you some. If you place an order for 510 nestboxes you normally can get them built locally very reasonably priced....Every yard that is open but surrounded by nearby woods probably should have at least 5 nestboxes nearby to accommodate the other native bird species.

We are back from our trip to Cincinnati, Ohio and will share thoughts on the few bluebirds we saw going and coming on the 1,700 mile round trip.... Off to read 349 new Messages so be patient or re-post on the private e-mails if you want or need an answer tonight:-)) KK.


Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 08:58:03 EDT
From: "Rwatts" rwatts"at"mymailstation.com
To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)
Subject: Re:HOSP and Chickadees :-(

Should we make a Huber trap and install it in the box and wait for the HOSP to return?  Move the box and reduce the entrance hole, hoping that the Chickadees will return?  Should we remove the Chickadee nest? I am confused.

My husband wants to wait for the HOSP to return to the box, then rush out and plug the entrance hole and "take care of him."  Is this even practical?

First, don't worry about the fact that bluebirds weren't involved as you post questions about it--it's a cavity nesting bird, and actually you'll find that interesting news about other species does get posted.

Trapping is indeed an option, as is trying to catch the HOSP inside (have done it myself).  Now, I'm glad you put the :-( in the title--that's our list signal that some may want to delete since the subject matter may distress some folks, being about `disposing' of HOSP.  You might catch one of them in the box (preferably the male, since he's the one with the real attachment to the box) by quickly flinging a large plastic bag over the whole box, and grasping it around the pole.  The bird will either fly out the hole, or you can manipulate the box open, so the bird is now in the bag--this allows you to make a definite identification so you don't do anything to a native bird.  (You may want an extra set of hands!) 

Once a HOSP is caught, it's your decision--some on list trim some flight feathers and release (the HOSP is less maneouverable, and thus an easier target for predators). Others diectly kill--not pleasant, but if you have only the one HOSP pair it may solve your problem.  About the quickest and surest way is to keep the HOSP in the bag and whack it *hard* against a rock, a wall, whatever.  (If possible, locate a wildlife center which may be able to use the HOSP to feed captive raptors or other animals.)  Or, if you have a lot of HOSP, you can place the one you've caught in a repeating ground trap (with food and water) as a decoy to lure others in. Check the Best of BB-L files--more ideas there, such as using monofilament line to deter HOSP from using your boxes.

Rhonda Watts
Wilton, N.H.


From: Blubirds4evr"at"aol.com
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2002 14:43:58 EDT
Subject: OT Chickadees
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Hello Everyone,

I just moved to Mazzzchusetts from Ann Arbor, Michigan. We have quite a few bluebirds in the area, I put up a nestbox as soon as we got here hoping that a bluebird pair would take over the box. But although the bluebirds are around all the time a BCC pair took over the box, I was happy that it was being used even though they weren't bluebirds. The problem is they have a nest built but are not using it, they haven't been seen near it for almost a week, my problem is that if they aren't going to use it i'd like to have another chance at a pair of bluebirds using it. How long should I wait before I remove the nest?? There are no eggs in the box. If they return that would be great I don't want to remove the nest to soon. Thanks for any advice you can give me. Have a Wonderful Day !

Kathy
Hanson MA


Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2002 20:39:42 EDT
From: "Rwatts" rwatts"at"mymailstation.com
To: Blubirds4evr"at"aol.com, bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)
Subject: Re:OT Chickadees

Hi, Kathy,
Your chickadees may be around more than you think! They have a very cute habit of burying the eggs down into the nest so it's very hard to find them. (You might try gently wiggling a finger into the nest material and see of you feel anything.) Then one day, *bang*, mama is sitting on a complete clutch!

Have you tried putting up another box around 15' away? Chickadees will pair quite happily, I've found.

Rhonda Watts
Wilton, N.H.


From: hubertrap"at"webtv.net (Joe Huber)
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2002 22:22:06 -0400 (EDT)
To: Blubirds4evr"at"aol.com, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)
Subject: Re: OT Chickadees

Hi Kathy, Be sure to check for eggs covered just below the surface of the nest before deciding there are no eggs in nest. Your situation is one reason I always suggest not using one nest box. Put up another box,don't worry about distance apart for Bluebirds. I see no reason why your CHickadees have given up on their nest. Give them a week or so ,but in the mean time set out another box for the BLuebirds. Joe Venice Fl.

Charter member NABS, Charter member OBS, Life member OBS Joe Huber hubertrap"at"webtv.net 

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/HOUSESPARROWCONTROL 

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/RoostingBluebirds

27.1171494 N Lo -82.4124222 W
He who ask a question is stupid for five minutes, He who never ask a question remains stupid forever, Chinese Priverb.


From: "Karen Harder" karenh"at"praxisworks.org
To: "Project FeederWatch discussion group" PFW-L"at"cornell.edu (PFW-L),
"Bluebird List" bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu,
"TBN Network" NESTBOX-L"at"cornell.edu (NESTBOX-L)
Subject: Those little dickenses!
Date: Fri, 3 May 2002 15:30:10 -0400

Hi all!

Here's some entertaining (and informative) reading from the AP! I copied it here from www.ABCnews.com. Who'd have thought that our sweet, innocent little chickadees were really up to these sorts of shenanigans?

Karen Harder -- Cape Porpoise, Maine......

Good Morning America World News Tonight 20/20 Downtown Primetime Nightline WNN This Week

May 3, 2002

(AP Photo) Study Finds Female Chickadees Fickle
Female Chickadees Find Other Lovers if Mates Falter in Singing, Say Researchers

The Associated Press

W A S H I N G T O N, May 2 - The love life of a female chickadee could make a country music classic: "If your song don't pass muster, buster, I'm gone."

The lady chickadee has a cheatin' heart, quick to find another lover if her mate fails to win his daily song contests with rivals. In effect, she decides that if her mate is a loser, he won't be the only papa in her nest, say researchers at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

Daniel Mennill, co-author of a study appearing Friday in the journal Science, said mates of high-ranking male black-capped chickadees are more likely to be unfaithful than are the mates of lower-ranked males.

"Females are accustomed to hearing their high-ranking mates dominate a song contest," said Mennill. "It is quite a shocking event to their ears to hear them lose a song contest."

When that happens, he said, the female will sneak out before dawn and meet with a rival male for a coupling. Then she flies back home as if nothing happened and continues to live with her partner.

"These extra matings are just short copulations about 30 seconds," said Mennill. The long-term partners "do remain mated, in a social sense."

The effect of these extra matings is that some chicks in the nest have been fathered by some other male chickadee, he said. And the betrayed male apparently never knows the difference.

Mennill said he established by DNA analysis of blood from the chicks that one or two birds per clutch had some other father than the one that raised them.

Male chickadees are challenged virtually every day to a song contest with rival males. They use the contests to defend territory and nests.

"It is only the males that sing," said Mennill. "Every male chickadee has only one song two notes that sound like 'fee-bee.'"

One male sings and the other then sings back in a competition that may last for several minutes.

"If a male is very aggressive, he'll go through a set of routines where he will match the pitch and try to overlap the song of his opponent," said Mennill.

While this is going on, the female is listening, gauging who is winning. If her mate loses, she remembers.

Mennill proved the chickadee cheating by recording some of the bird songs and then engaging in a singing contest with a male bird.

"The main effect is that the female is more likely to engage in extrapair copulations if the high-ranking partner was bested."

"A few times I have seen a male follow the female and it did turn into a bit of a fight between the two males and the two females," said Mennill. "But usually these things are very quick and the female can sneak away and be back before her mate notices."

The females of high-ranking males are most likely to cheat, he said. Rank among chickadees is established in the fall when the birds gather in flocks that will last through the winter. Somehow the birds establish an Alpha, or primary, male and female, a Beta, or second in rank, male and female, and so on.

"There is an Alpha chickadee for whom the others make way at a food source," said Mennill. "The lowest ranking bird has to wait for everyone else."

Even though chickadee partners may stay together for years, the birds do have a system rather like divorce, said Mennill.

If, for instance, the Alpha female dies or is grabbed by a hawk, then the Alpha male becomes a nestwrecker.

"Within 24 hours, the Beta female will divorce her partner and pair with the Alpha male, leaving the Beta male alone," said Mennill. "The females will do a lot of social changing in order to pair with a higher ranking male."

Sounds like another country song.

On the Net:

Science: http://www.sciencemag.org 

photo credit and caption: Undated file photo of a Black-capped chickadee. The lady chickadee has a cheatin' heart, quick to find another lover if her life mate fails to win his daily song contests with rivals, a new study shows. In effect, the chickadee mama decides not to let her loser mate be the only papa in her nest, say researchers at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada. (AP Photo/Science, Daniel Mennill, file)


Date: Sun, 5 May 2002 07:15:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: Horace Sher hjsher1"at"yahoo.com
Subject: Dead Chickadees??
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Hello...This is a sad msg to anyone who has had Carolina Chickadees nesting experience. Yesterday when I checked their box, my 3 17 day old CACH nestlings were ok. Parents were feeding them normally all day. This morning I found all 3 dead. Brief history..so anyone who has had similar experience maybe can throw some light my way on what might have happened. Originally the female laid 7 eggs in 1 of my bluebird boxes located a short distance from the house. Totally I have 5 bluebird boxes up around the yard..front, back, side, etc. Two of the boxes have Bluebird nests in them with no eggs. 1 box is empty. 1 box has nesting Tufted Titmice & 1 box... up to this morning sometime early, had 3 live CACH nestlings. Like I said, this box originally had 7 CACH nestlings, but over a period of a couple weeks, 4 nestlings had died...I saw the parents remove most of them. But for well over a week or so, the 3 remaining nestlings seem to be doing fine. I'm trying to figure out what happened. Upon looking at them, it's not obvious to me that a bird pecked them to death..although I'm not ruling this out. I think these are the possibilities....House Wren predation (my yard has them for a week), some kind of sickness or disease. I don't have House Sparrows. Nest wasn't messed up..still in tact. No ants, etc. Any ideas..anyone. I'm going out of town tomorrow morning. If anyone has a good idea what caused this, please let me know today Sunday. Thanks very much.... Horace in NC.

=====


Date: Sun, 05 May 2002 23:12:56 -0400
Subject: Black-Capped Chicadee
From: "Larry J. VanZalen" lvanzalen"at"mei.net
To: BlueBird List BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Hi all,

I have a total of four nest boxes in my yard. Three of them are BB boxes and one is a wood duck box. The wood ducks showed a little interest earlier this spring but moved on after hanging around for a few hours. We still see them occasionally preening and sunning on the dock but methinks they found better housing. I need to move their nest box closer to the water, I believe...or maybe right in the water. It's presently 3 feet from shore. That's tomorrow's project #1...putting a new pole for the nest box right in the water, where I see most others. If anyone has any advice on attracting wood ducks, I'm open to suggestions. The box has been out for a year now. It's approximately 5 feet from the water, facing the lake, with undeveloped shoreline for 15 feet in one direction and 100 feet in the other. Reeds and floating vegetation extend about 12-15 feet from shore. The box is lined with about 4 inches of wood shavings.

On the same pole (15 ft high with 2 bat boxes at the top) on the opposite side from the wood duck box, is a rather flimsily built BB box that no self respecting Bluebird would be caught investigating. I understand that. And that is tomorrow's project #2...replacing it with a new cedar box. Now, about 30 feet from that large pole, 5 feet from the water, and right next to a fence is the box that my EABL's have been using for the last 3 years. They tried three times last year but none of the eggs hatched. This year, there are 4 eggs and Mom has been spending most of her time keeping them warm. I'm expecting them to hatch in the next few days if all goes well.

The fourth house is as far away from the third as I could put it (about 130 feet) and has been unused in 4 years. Last year, I moved it about 30 feet farther from the water but it still went vacant all year. Today, I opened it for only the second time this spring (I usually don't bother since I had all but given up on it's chances of attracting any birds.) I was pleasantly surprised to find one of the finest looking nests I've ever seen. A perfectly molded little nest on a bed of moss, and filled with 7 little white eggs with brown spots. I had no more than closed the box and turned to get my wife to ID the nest when Mom Chicadee flew down from where she must have been a silent witness to what had to have looked like a B&E. She was in a big hurry to see if I'd messed with any of her eggs.

So, life is good here in my little corner of the world. A Rose-breasted Grosbeak visited the feeder for a while this afternoon, and at luch time we were treated with the priveledge of watching our BB's spend a little time in the bath. And, Ma Robin has her nest atop one of the bat houses again this year.

It's a perfect place for a robin to build her nest...nestled tightly in the little space between the top of the bat house and the peak or the garage roof. No wind or rain can bother her there and no critters can get to her either. Last year she tried in vain to build her nest on the steeply sloped roof of the bat house. We watched the determined bird make several valiant attempts to get the mud to stick only to have the whole nest come crashing to the ground when gravity called. When it became clear that a little human intervention might be called for, I fashioned a crude little pine shelf and fastened it to the roof of the bat house. Ma Robin waited in the trees, chirping impatiently as I worked to give her a level foundation on which to build. Complicating things for me: 15-25 bats were roosting inside the box. I had to leave it in place while I tried to work in the cramped quarters I was given. I finally finished it without disturbing the bats or falling off the ladder, and joined my wife a safe distance away to wait for Ma Robin's approval...or rejection. She waited a respectable period of time before casually coming down to inspect my work. First to the roof of the garage, then back to the tree, then to the roof again. This went on for several minutes before she decided the new appliance looked reasonably safe. She flew down from the tree one last time, perched on her new platform a short while and then flew off, disappearing on the other side of the garage. I breathed a silent sigh of relief when she reappeared minutes later with the materials for yet another attempt at providing a home for her waiting brood. By the next day, the new nest was ready. The birds and the bats got along famously, BTW. They are all neighbors again this year.

Hoping everyone's weekend was as fabulous as his,
larry...
--
Larry VanZalen
Southern Lower Michigan


From: "Stan, Apple Valley/St. Paul, MN  [44.44N, -93.10W]" stan1bb"at"frontiernet.net
To: "Seward, Elizabeth D." Elizabeth.D.Seward2"at"usdoj.gov,
        "BB" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu, mnbird"at"linux.winona.msus.edu
Subject: Chickadee Question?
Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 13:38:26 -0500

Hi Elizabeth:

As on the various TV Shows, where someone "passes" to another contestant, that's what I'm going to do here.  Since the BLUEBIRD-L Listserve may include all cavity-nesting birds, you have a question about the chickadee, one of our cavity-nesting birds; and though I know a little bit about some things, "jest enuf" to  score a hair above the cut-off point for being illiterate, the disappearance of your chickadee eggs may be better answered by some of our List friends knowledgable about disappearing eggs.

And, I'm also going to take the liberty of Posting your question to our MN Birding Listserve, for some opinions from our MN Chickadee friends.

We have a pair of robins (yes, robins are "OT," so I'll make it brief) who build a nest under our neighbor's deck, lay eggs (and sometimes, but not usually hatch them); and something invariable gets their eggs from time to time, with egg shells in the area; nest is often intact.  Though we do have blue jays, crows, and wrens, not aware of any snakes nor raccoons.  What happens I'm not sure.

Back to Elizabeth's question [see below], if any of you have some ideas, please share them with both of us and/or Post to the List.

Thanks!

Happy birding, EveryBIRDie!

Stan
********************************
| Stan,
|
| A Chickadee question for you.  A Chickadee laid 5 eggs in her nest in a box that is mounted on a greased pole.  (Yes, she used dog hair (our Siberian Husky's down) for the cup of the nest.)  A week later there were only three eggs in the box, and no sign of the female.  (Well, a Chickadee comes to our platform feeder, but I am guessing that that is the male.)  The eggs disappeared at about the same time the House Wrens were house hunting, but they have not placed any sticks in that box.  I haven't seen any snakes yet this year, and our other nest boxes with nestlings are fine (so far), but could a snake have eaten the incubating female and the two eggs?  Would the female abandon the nest if a wren or other bird carried off two of her eggs?  I am disappointed, because this is the first year we have had a Chickadee attempt to nest.  The entrance hole is 1 1/4".
|
| I'd surely appreciate your thoughts.
|
| Diane Seward
| Potomac, MD


From: "Karen Louise Lippy" brdbrain"at"superpa.net
To: stan1bb"at"frontiernet.net
Cc: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Chickadee Question?
Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 16:32:00 -0400

Stan and Dianne,
    So sorry to hear about your failed chickadee nest.  It seems they are low bird on the totem pole.  EVERYTHING throws out the chickadees.

    My best guess is that a house wren, bluebird or tree swallow removed eggs from the nest.  After a certain amount of eggs were removed and some time expended fighting with the aggressor, the chickadees left to find another cavity and try again.

    After evicting the chickadees, the aggressor bird may take over the nest or may never show interest again.  I have read that it is theorized that birds do this instinctively to eliminate competition for nest sites and food resources.    The more species around to utilize empty cavities, the more it seems that some birds will fight to keep some cavities vacant.

Karen from South Central PA

----- Original Message -----
From: "Stan, Apple Valley/St. Paul, MN [44.44N, -93.10W]"
stan1bb"at"frontiernet.net
To: "Seward, Elizabeth D." Elizabeth.D.Seward2"at"usdoj.gov; "BB"
BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu; mnbird"at"linux.winona.msus.edu
Sent: Wednesday, May 08, 2002 2:38 PM
Subject: Chickadee Question?

...


From: hubertrap"at"webtv.net (Joe Huber)
Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 22:38:38 -0400 (EDT)
To: stan1bb"at"frontiernet.net, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Chickadee Question?

Hi all,  About the Chickadee question.        They have a habit of hiding their eggs in the nest so you can't see them.  Maybe they are just under the layer of nest out of sight.

The robin nest mentioned below in your Message could be invaded by a Jay that took the eggs from the nest.   Joe Huber Venice Fl.

Charter member NABS, Charter member OBS, Life member OBS  Joe Huber
hubertrap"at"webtv.net 

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/HOUSESPARROWCONTROL 

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/RoostingBluebirds 
 

27.1171494 N Lo -82.4124222 W
He who ask a question is stupid for five minutes, He who never ask a
question remains stupid forever,  Chinese Proverb.


Chickadees (part 4)

 

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, you will need to edit the e-mail address, replacing "at" with the "at" symbol (above the number 2 on your keyboard). (This change was made to discourage spammers.)
If you are the author of a posting and would like to see a particular post (or posts) removed from these web pages, please contact me with the page AND date of the post(s), and I will remove whatever material you like.  If you have a different opinion from one posted here, you need not contact me, as often I will have a different opinion too. The intent is to try and provide both sides to the issues facing bluebirders, and to do so in an impartial and objective manner.
If you have problems, encounter broken links (unless they are within an e-mail thread, as I do not maintain those links), or have suggestions on how the site can be improved to make it more useful, please contact the Best of Bluebird-L Classifieds webmaster
Website design by Chimalis