When I last wrote about my chickadee nest boxes, I had three active nests coddling 17 precious eggs. Two NestWatch checks later, I have 11 eggs still being brooded by attentive moms as well as 6 little naked and blind nestlings.
The six nestlings hatched on May 26 after 13 days of incubation. When I checked in around 6pm on hatch day, 5 eggs had hatched. The other egg probably hatched later that day or the next.
I use an automotive mirror to give me a nice look into the box. What concerns me about this nest is that the nesting material lining the bottom of the cup is gone and the little nestlings are laying directly on the bottom of the box. The good thing is that it is a smooth material and not a rough hewn wood.
The nestlings will be brooded by mom almost constantly for the next few days to keep their little featherless bodies warm. They'll be fed an insect diet provided by both mom and dad. Chickadees in my boxes usually stay in the nest for 18 days so it'll be the 2nd week in June before they leave the nest.
Mom chickadees on my other nests are incubating away. All my nest boxes are mounted on Advanced Pole System poles with baffles so the risk of losing an egg or nestling to squirrels or chipmunks is practically nil. Protecting my nestboxes with baffles has helped me have excellent success with my baby chickadees.
Stay tuned for my next NestWatch report. They'll probably be hatching in less than a week.