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19 May 2013

Chestnut-backed Chickadee Nest

As a fun home project, my daughter and I decorated and hung a chickadee house this spring. Within a few days, we had a chestnut-backed investigating it.


We watched the Chickadees faithfully bring supplies into the house, and then eventually started hearing the peeps of chicks. The peeps grew stronger and louder for about 2 weeks, and then one day stopped. It seemed the chickadee family had successfully raised their young!

On the unlikely hopes that a second family will still rear young, we cleaned the house out yesterday. The nest they had built inside was amazing - made of animal hair and a little bit of grass.

After taking the bottom off of the house, this is what we saw:
 The nest extended to the corners of the house, packed very tightly.

We took the nest out, and it was concave in the middle. It was quite clean - just a couple droppings that likely were left the day the birds fledged.

You can see the grey animal hair well on the left side of the nest, but when viewed in person, it was obvious that the nest was probably 60% or more animal hair. This was a good reminder at how resourceful birds are in finding the materials they prefer (or need) for nesting and eating.

My daughter and I had a great time building and decorating the house, and we took care to research proper placement. It all paid off, and we're looking forward to being the landlord for more bird tenants in the future!