Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Haz a Happy!

OK, so I know you're looking at the title of this post and then this first picture and thinking to yourself, "well, it's just a birdhouse Ruthie!" So I'll's not the birdhouse.......'s what's in the birdhouse that makes me happy. Do you know who made this nest???

I finally have a year-round pair of chickadees in my yard and all the $$$ I spend on those giant, live mealworms I put out for them is paying off with them finally deciding to nest in the little Gilbertson bluebird house right in the front yard. I'm keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed that this nest is successful and I will get to see baby chickadees coming for mealworms with their parents.



Anonymous said...

I remember when you lived in Byron and you had chickadees near your front wildow, in the bushes right outside and we got to see them. Now you have some more, that is a very cute nest, it looks so soft.


KGMom said...

Your very own chickadee. Oh my--jealous jealous jealous.

Mama Pea said...

Congratulations . . . and best wishes for the new family (to-be) in your yard! (How big can a chickadee egg be???)

Red said...

Awwwww :)

They must have really enjoyed those meal worms and figured their host was just too fancy and gracious to leave!

Susan Gets Native said...


We have two little chickadee gapes showing inside our bird house (that is cutely shaped like a big sunflower).

Deb said...

That is SWEET! I'm sure I have chickadee nests in the numerous dead conifer snags here, but to actually see one! Nice!

Ruth said...

I didn't know Chickadees were cavity nesters. Looking forward to possible new developments!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

That's so neat Ruthie!
I hope they stay and that you'll share pictures.

Gaelyn said...

Very cool Ruthie! That nest looks quite soft and cozy. Hope to see your little chickadees soon.

cindy said...

Ruthie, what a treat! We once had a chickadee family nest in one of our old bluebird houses. It was made entirely out of green moss. The soft green moss you find growing on rocks in the shade. So soft! Then the wren came and punctured the eggs! Keep your eyes peeled!

Jayne said...

YAY!!!!! Can't wait to see those little babies on your hand! :c)

Marsha said...

I can't wait to see those cute little faced peeking out of the nest hole! I think the chickadees are my very favorite little bird and someday home to hand feed one like you did.

Mary C said...

That is so cool, Ruthie! I hope they'll be successful. It sure would be sweet to see the babies.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mom,
It IS really soft. There's some bunny fur, some little bits of feathers, some fuzzy golden fur (looks like from a dog) and also some tiny bits of yellow insulation (I think they found that over at Crafts).
I'll keep you updated on the status of this nest.

Hi Donna, don't be jealous, if they hatch successfully, I will share them with everyone!

Glad you asked Mama Pea! Black-Capped Chickadees commonly lay 6-8 eggs; average size 15.2 x 12.2 mm. Incubation period is 12-13 days.
(Information is from the Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Birds' Nests)

Hi Red,
I was really surprised, they've been hanging around, but I thought they were already nesting somewhere else.

Lucky you Susan -- baby chickadees are so cute.

Thanks Deb. I'm glad you have so many natural nesting cavities for your chickadees.

Thanks Ruth. I'll definitely keep everyone posted on new developments.

Hi Lynne,
If they stay, I'll definitely share pictures. I'm going to not bug them much for now until they get the eggs laid and then will be much more dedicated to this nestbox.

Thanks Gaelyn. You would not believe how soft and warm the nest is. I wonder how they can find all that fuzzy stuff in nature?

Hi Cindy,
There are a few bits of green moss in there too, but they don't show up well on the picture. I also have another chickadee house nearby and I noticed yesterday the wren had dropped a few sticks in there, so I do hope these chickadees will be OK where they are.

Oh Jayne, wouldn't that be neat? I hope everything goes well and I get to see babies too.

I'll be anxiously waiting for the little ones too Marsha.

Thanks Mary C. I'll keep everyone posted as this story continues.

Anonymous said...

The nest materials are most inventive. They really used some animal fur? (Don't tell PETA.)
Okay, now totally ignorant questions:
What, exactly, do you put the mealworms in to feed them? Is that you HANDFEEDING>??? You didn't take the picture too, did you? That would be over the top.
I'll cross my fingers for success, too--so that I can watch from your blog. Nice to see all the GREEN there!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mary Lee,
I checked the nestbox again this afternoon and found more fur had been added -- this time from the cottontail bunny (there are some in my yard and it's not unusual to find little clumps of their fur laying around--probably from scratching or whatever bunnies do).
I feed mealworms from a Wild Birds Unlimited feeder called the Dinner Bell. It's a large dish with an adjustable weather dome over the top. In the wintertime, I also have a window feeder that I stick up on the dining room window and the chickadees come for worms there.
Yes, that's my hand holding the worms and the chickadee. They love the mealworms that much! Actually, black-capped chickadees are one of the easiest wild birds to train to eat from your hand, so that makes them even more fun to have around!

dAwN said...

Yipeeeee ..that is so exciting.
I hope the nest is successful and you have chickies year after year.

Dana and Daisy said...

I used to have a tree out my kitchen window with red berries and I loved watching the chickadees all year flutter around the branches. Our winters are much milder than yours. They would really hunker down tight when it was cold and snowy though.

Criquette said...

Hi! Just found your blog while searching for a bird identification. Didn't find the bird yet, but I like your blog. I'm also a knitter, birder, and gardener. I love chickadees and we have several year-round resident pairs. While putting out mealworms (in a vain attempt to lure bluebirds), I discovered the chickadees can't get enough! I didn't know you could train them to hand-feed - that is so cool! I'll have to give it a try. Hope you stop by and visit my blog sometime.

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Dawn. I'm keeping my fingers crossed too.

Hi Dana,
My chickadees are pretty vocal, so they usually let me know when they're nearby and that's my cue to put some more mealworms out in their dish.

Hi Criquette,
Welcome to my blog -- it's good to "meet" another birdwatcher/knitter/pet lover! Good luck with handfeeding those chickadees. Mine learned pretty quickly, but it was really hard for me to sit still because it was so exciting to have them fly right up and land on my hand!

Kelly said...

...I am so jealous you have a chickadee eating out of your hand!! He is so cute! Yeah for the nest....can't wait to see the babes.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I have never had a wild bird eat from my hand. What fun, and to have them nesting in your garden. wow.