Sunday, June 7, 2009

Homesteaders

New residents have moved into our bird rental. Most years, we have bluebirds in the birdhouse, but this year, it's a pair of chickadees. Someone is standing in the door here.

I've watched them for the past couple of weeks and I still can't tell male from female. Are there differences in the markings? In this photo you can see one bird in the birdhouse and another on the stem of my baby mimosa tree (which is planted in entirely the wrong place, but that's another story).

I am glad to see new residents. A birdhouse that is unoccupied is just sad.

3 comments:

solsticedreamer~laoi gaul~williams said...

our four baby blue tits had fledged but still in the garden making their noise!

Matthew Burns said...

I love black-capped chickadee's. Growing up, i'd always heard that you could distinguish male chickadee's from female chickadee's by the width of the black patch on their neck. The male black patch is wider than the female black patch. But in my ornithology class in college, this was frowned upon as being inaccurate. So was determining sex by the size of the bird (males are supposedly bigger, but in actuality the size of the bird is determined by the food resources that it has). The most accurate way (and it still isn't 100%) is to listen to the song, the male sings louder as it is the alpha bird, and the female's song is a little more raspy and is submissive to the male. These are very subtle differences, but I'm sure your discerning eye can unravel the mystery of the chickadee!

Did you know that chickadee's love dandelions? You must have alot of them this year for the chickadee's to take up residence in the bluebird box. Watch out if you get near the birdhouse though, the male chickadee is very protective and may dive bomb you if you get too close!

Bluebirds are finicky, and if the boxes aren't cleaned out every year and facing an easterly direction, they will avoid them. If you find a bluebird box that has mice in it, you might as well write it off as a loss, you will never have another bluebird to take up residence in it again. Like I said, they are very finicky.

Can't you tell I have a little bit of experience with bluebirds? Dad just loves them. I also monitored and placed hundreds of bluebird boxes when I worked for the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Hope this info helps you out. I know a little bit about a whole lot, and a whole lot about very little!lol.

Matthew

Rowan said...

How lovely to be able to watch the chickadees hatching their eggs and feeding the babies and hopefully finally seeing them all fledge.

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