Friday, May 29, 2009

Last Chickadee Post

Great News!
I saw a bluebird checking out the birdhouse this morning and decided it was time we opened the box to see if the chickadees were finished with it. We were so afraid we'd find little bodies in there because we had only seen one fledge and the parents had apparently abandoned the house. But praise be, we found only their beautiful little nest, completely empty! So we apparently just missed seeing the others, probably three more, fledge. We felt very lucky to have seen the one, since in the last year's nesting we missed the chickadee fledging altogether. The nest as you see it below is about 5-6 inches wide and I would say about 4 inches high. I love the way they put the cavity for the eggs over to one side to give the little ones plenty of room to rest when they hatched. Oh, they had six eggs when they started, and one died when the sparrows attacked. I'm not sure what happened to the other one. But I am THRILLED that the rest fledged safely!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Woohoooooooo! We have had one fledging this morning. A small head appeared at the door of the chickadee house (nee bluebird house), without any coaxing, I might add. He looked out for a few minutes, giving me just enough time to call Roy from his office to come and watch, and then flew out and over to the deck railing where he was joined by a proud parent. Then he flew off into a tree behind the house and we haven't seen him since, but I'm sure he has a watchful parent by his side. I grabbed my camera but he flew away before I could get a shot.
No siblings have appeared yet, but one parent has flown in and out of the nest a few times, so they're either still being fed and not ready to fledge yet or something worse. My concern is that the others might have sustained injuries from being dragged out of the nest by those marauding sparrows. Dang!!! We'll just have to wait and see. Guess who'll be glued to the window the rest of the day?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Photot of the Week

I'm enjoying the emergence of color in my yard after such a dreary winter and early spring. The bouquet below is an example of the abundance of peonies blooming now. I didn't stake the plants in time this year so I'm having to cut blooms as they begin to open and bring them in. I probably enjoy them even more in the house than I do on the plants!
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My large weigela puts on a spectacular show every year. I can't wait for my red one to get this showy!

And finally I just happened to be out near my neighbors large pine trees and noticed these baby cones. Aren't they sweet?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chickadee Update

So far things look better in the bird world this morning. I was up at 6:00am to stand watch in case the sparrows weren't deterred by my efforts yesterday, but I've only seen Mama and Papa bringing food to the little ones today. Of course it's only 8:00 now and things could get worse later on. My hope is that the sparrows have begun to build their nest elsewhere and won't bother the chickadees again. I'll keep watch one more day, in any case, maybe more if today gets as bad as yesterday.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NOT a Good Day!

War has been waged and I am just about as angry as I can be. We got up about 8:00 this morning and when I looked out I knew something was going on at the chickadee house. I thought it was perhaps fledging day because the parent birds were in and out of the house and down on the ground and on the perch and in the tree. But in awhile they flew up into the tree and didn't come back for awhile, so I went ahead and poured my coffee and had breakfast.
When I came back to check on them I saw house sparrows carrying nesting material into the house!!!!! So I went out to drive them away and almost stepped on a baby chickadee right outside my back door! I knew immediately what had happened and went out to yank the nesting material that was hanging out the portal of the house and check to see what the sparrows had done. Fortunately I was watching where I walked because there on the ground below the bird house were two more babies! Damned sparrows! I picked up the two from the ground and put them back in the house, and Roy came along with the one from the deck which was also still alive. I was afraid the parents would abandon them after we had handled them, but thank goodness now I see them bringing food to them again. Oh, and when we opened the house after we put the babies back in, Roy said he saw a fourth. I found another one farther away from the nest on the ground but it was dead. I'm sure there were six eggs to begin with so there may be another one lying dead in the yard, I'm not sure.
I tell you, there is no terrorist of the bird world like these damned sparrows! If there had been bluebirds in the house, the parent birds would have been feisty enough to fight them off maybe, but the chickadees are just too small.
Well, I'm having to keep one eye on the bird house while I'm writing this because the invaders keep trying to get back in the house. I just hope the remaining babies survive all this. Forgive my expletives, but I'm just too upset to worry about it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Photo(s) of the Week

I have NO idea why I can't get this photo to upload in the proper orientation! Anyway, this is Papa Chickadee bringing a morsel to his brood of six in the bluebird house, where he and Mama have installed themselves. Sorry you have to lie down to see it properly!
My peonies are beginning to bloom. Here are the first ones. I love to see some color in the yard after such a dreary winter and early spring!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Photo of the Week

Well, it's been awhile since I've posted and I have few excuses. We were away for a week visiting my husband's hometown and environs in Tennessee...and I spent another week recovering from the trip. I feel my days for long road trips are over!
But now we're back to normal and I had a lovely Mothers' Day. Although it was a very quiet day with just the two of us, I did get wonderful flowers from two of my children (the third one will visit soon, and she did call and chat) as well as my husband. Pictures below.....