This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

chickadee update

The chickadee babies have hatched (I think). Yesterday both parents started bringing food to the bird house. Every 15 minutes or so. I don't hear any chirping from inside. Chickadees are so secretive.

Here is a paragraph I posted earlier: "On April 27, I noticed that the chickadee pair were building their nest, bringing moss and grasses. A few days later they brought fluff and fuzz. Maybe around May 1 she probably started laying eggs. The female lays one egg a day for about a week. On May 8, I noticed she was staying in the box and the male was bringing her food. Chickadees incubate their eggs for 12-13 days once all the eggs are laid. If she started incubating around May 7, then the eggs should hatch around May 19-20. Then the parents will feed them for 16 days and the chicks will fledge on Friday June 5."

I put a wren guard on the chickadee's bird house several a couple weeks ago because we have a very active house wren around. I took it off this morning to make it easier for the chickadees to feed their chicks. Immediately, the wren arrived. He went right into a new sparrow house I just put up, where sparrows have been nest building for a few days now. He looked around, but didn't seem interested. Then he came over to the chickadee house. When he got about 5 feet from it, I shewed him away. Then I put the sparrow guard back on!

2009 chickadees

garden birds (Hortus Aves)

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Blogger Sean said...

We have a couple of sparrows nesting in the garden. I can't wait for them to appear. The kids are so excited that the house we built is getting used.

May 21, 2009 10:29 AM

Blogger Cynthia said...

It must be so fun to keep track of the chickadee nest :D Do all these birds around your house ever attack your crop? I've planted a lot of berries and corn and stuff and wondering if I should put any kind of netting up to keep the birds away...

May 21, 2009 3:22 PM

Anonymous Dee said...

That is very neat to follow your chickadee nest like that! I hope the babies make to be adults.

We had a robin nest in the corner of our fence but our dog scared all the babies out of their nest a bit early, so they have all left. It was quite a confusing night in the yard with all those baby robins everywhere. HAHAH

May 21, 2009 8:47 PM

Blogger Dan said...

Isn't it fun watching the birds nest. We had cardinals nest in the hedge a few years ago. They didn't seem to mind me much, even when I pocked my head in to look. I was photography a crab apple and in the process flushed out a nesting red winged blackbird. They have really cool eggs, I'll get the photo up and send you the link.

May 21, 2009 9:50 PM

Anonymous Jessica in CT said...

Reading up on wrens and how they disrupt other nests, I'm thinking I better not put up any birdhouses after all! Our neighbor has several houses hanging in her yard and we're fortunate to still have a wide variety of birds. I don't want to encourage wrens by having too many houses too close together. Glad I learned about wrens from you! I had no idea they were predatory like this. Thanks!

January 05, 2010 4:37 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Our community garden is recommending against any birdhouses in our garden plots. Last year nearly all gardeners complied with this. The houses attract wrens, which are very aggressive though native birds. The bigger problem for our garden is the quest to attract bluebirds in adjacent meadows. House sparrows are just terribly negative for bluebirds. They are as aggressive as wrens, but more prolific especially around people.

I have a sparrow house on the south side of my house, which I should remove. Maybe in the urban location, it doesn;t affect the bluebirds. I don;t know. But I love the little chickadee house. Chickadees are so sweet and quiet and its awfully nice to have them nest on my patio.

January 05, 2010 5:03 PM


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