For the first time ever, our property is hosting three nestboxes filled with Black-capped Chickadee eggs! We've had two boxes fledge young before, so I pushed my luck and erected two more boxes this year, all within the front third of our 3 acre lot.
The egg-laying extravaganza started the second week of May, and by the time the three moms were done, there were a total of 20 eggs. TWENTY little chickadees that will enter the outside world around the second week in June!
I'd like to introduce the hard-working moms. They will do all 12 days of incubation. Dad IS helping out by bringing food to mom, and later to the nestlings. I'll try to capture images of the dads when feeding activity picks up.
Front West Nestbox
Here's mom #1. She laid 7 eggs in the nestbox tucked in the west corner of the front yard. This box has fledged 11 chickadees in the last two years. I'm estimating a hatch date of May 30 - June 1.
Here's mom #2. She laid 6 eggs in the nestbox I erected this year in an opening in the woods to the west of our house. The box was placed on May 6, and within a week, it had eggs in it. I'm estimating a hatch date of May 27 - 29.
Here's mom #3. She too has 7 eggs. This location has fledged chickadees in the past, but the box is new and allows me to monitor it. I'm estimating a hatch date of May 24-26.