Early this spring, I moved the nestbox from the edge of my front yard and tucked it into the corner of the yard, a bit further from the hustle and bustle of the 3 feeding stations in the front. I also added wood chips to the bottom of the box (about 3-4" deep).
These two little moves seem to have been good ones since a pair of chickadees has been busy for days preparing a nest in the box. Chickadees are known to carry away chips of excavated wood out of the nest cavity, and this little behavior is ideal for nest watchers.
Here's what Don and Lillian Stokes have to say about it in their "A Guide to Bird Behavior Volume 1":
Some chips now remain in the nest which is serving as a base to the rest of their nest of mosses and soft materials like wool and pet hair. In past years, I've seen them pulling fibers out of a coir mat for their nest.
In a future post I'll talk about providing nesting materials for birds. And if this is a nest the chickadees choose to use to nest in (they often build nests and never use them), I'll keep you posted on their progress.