Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Empty Bird Box?

Earlier this month Jeanette saw Black-capped Chickadees entering this bird house with nesting material.  We haven’t seen any activity recently, so yesterday I decided to check the box to see how much of a nest they had started. When I opened the box I was startled by a fleeing bird and I discovered a completed nest of grass and moss, and nestled in the bottom were 5 little eggs! My next question was - where are we in the process.  I was able to go back in my records and find the date of Jeanette’s observation as May 2.  I knew from past research that nest construction takes 3 or 4 days, and incubation takes from 10 to 13 days, but how many days for egg laying?  It’s been an answer I haven’t been able to find in any of my books, but today I found in on the internet, of course.  Cornell’s site, All About Birds says; “Virtually all songbirds lay one egg per day, usually in the early morning, until the clutch is complete.” Constructing a time line, the nest would have been finished by the 6th at the latest, egg laying completed around the 10th, so we are now in the incubation period.  We will be watching closely for the more obvious signs of the adults bringing insects to the peeping sounds in the box. 

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