Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

July 12, 2012

Not What I Was Expecting

I am not certain if I even blogged on here about the Chickadee house having a second hatch. Maybe I keyed out the mystery of them possibly returning so soon after the first hatch had fledged?  Hard to remember right now, so much going on, and the nasty heat of this summer has seemingly fried my brain. It was all rather mysterious this second time around, and for the longest while, we weren't entirely certain what was going on. Its later in the season, it is hot and humid, the birds are far quieter now. But we were noticing one, possibly two Chickadees returning to the nest box. We never saw two together but especially over the Canada Day weekend there was a lot more frequency with in and out darts from the nest hole. So many times we would sneak up to the house and listen for peeps but never heard nothing; that is until this Sunday when I finally heard a teeny tiny Chickadee noise inside. Soon after I saw one little face peering out at me from within. I couldn't wait for Angie to get home and witness this once again for herself. And of course, she did.

Tuesday I took notice to the sounds of multiple Chickadees in the yard. Two for certain, maybe three.

Wednesday, all was quiet. I didn't even see an adult throughout my time at home.

Today, Thursday, having my morning coffee out back and listening to what was around me, and watching the little house... still nothing. I knew it was over, whoever was inside had "flown the coop" for sure.

I decided it was safe now to finally open the house up and see inside. I recalled the first time we had the hatch a few years back, and how I took apart the house, there was a perfect little nest inside. It was so soft and I couldn't get over how clean it was. Interesting that the little guys kept it clean. I never would have thought that. There were no feathers, no shells, just all the nest material nicely packed down. I expected to find the same today.

It turns out I was partially correct. The nest was as neat as it could be but sadly I did find one egg not hatched, and even more disappointing was the remains of one baby Chickadee. But let's try and not get too upset with this. First off, think about their first hatch... they had 5 healthy little Chickadees fledge. Second, the body within definitely was not that of the one we were hearing a few days ago. This one probably died very soon after the hatch, there really wasn't anything to him judging by his size. And with the scorching temperatures this summer, I am surprised anyone survived. The nest box gets lots of shade through the afternoon due to leaf cover from the Lilac tree, but lately, you just couldn't escape that heat when outdoors. And the nest box has only one hole in it, there is no air circulation. My mom and I were discussing it last week about how hot it must be inside.

I carefully pulled the nest out.  I placed the dime next to the egg to give you an idea on how small the egg is and the body as well.

That's one tiny egg, but when I think about the size of a Chickadee, its still pretty big.  I wonder how mom pushed 5 of those out the first time around.

I buried the nest with the little body in it out near the back.  I stopped for a moment to think about how many others have made their way here before him.  At least 7 creatures that lived with us over the years...  Kermy, Fatso, Pickle, Maude, NO, Bitch and Alice. rescue Toads, Newts and Tarantulas.  A surge of memories hit me all at once.  A few wildlife creatures came to mind as well of those who also share the ground under the apple trees.  Nice that we have such a large backyard with all that unused space when I think about it.

The house is rather dilapidated now.  We are going to seek out the same style come the fall and have it ready for their hopeful return next Spring.

Here is my blog from 2009 regarding the first fledge with the Chickadees.

And if you missed this from their first fledge of 2012, here you go.

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