Latest goings on in the yard

It’s mid July and this is the time of year when bird activity starts to slow down at the feeders. The main push of nesting is over and most species are taking care of their fledglings. It’s fun to watch parents bringing their young to the feeders. We had house wrens, chickadees and bluebirds all nesting at the same time in the yard this year.

Gilbertson bluebird box with chickadee hole reducer

Gilbertson bluebird box with chickadee hole reducer

Earlier in the spring, I had put up two Gilbertson boxes, and left up an existing Peterson box. The chickadees used one of the Gilbertson boxes and then the bluebirds arrived later. Usually if the bluebirds start nesting earlier (mid March) then they will chase off the chickadees (bluebirds are very territorial.) Once the chickadees started laying eggs I attached a hole reducer to prevent larger birds from entering the box.

Because we are in house wren habitat, I always put up a wren guard right after the first egg is laid. House wrens will enter the nest of another bird and poke holes in the eggs and/or toss the eggs out of the nest.

Wren guard for chickadee nest

Wren guard for chickadee nest

When the chicks are about a week old, I take the guard off. Very easy to make and attach, and pretty effective!
Chickadee nest

Chickadee nest

I do the same for bluebird nests. Our yard is not ideal territory for a bluebird since there are many trees, but they seem to enjoy the free buffet. However, it does require vigilance to protect against predators such as house wrens or raccoons. For bluebirds, after I take the wren guard off the nest, I immediately add a Noel guard which keeps the raccoon from being able to reach into the nest. It can be purchased, or you can make one yourself.

Fledgling chickadee on its first day in the big wide world!

Fledgling chickadee on its first day in the big wide world!

Our chickadees fledged on June 9, and the bluebirds fledged on July 7. The parents continue to come to the mealworm dish, grabbing beakfuls to take back to their young. A very successful and satisfying nesting season. πŸ™‚

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