In my third report I have good news and bad news. I'll get the bad news out of the way: I lost the brood of five chickadees nesting in my back box, presumably due to the loss of the female adult. I wrote about that loss in my post The Loss of a Brood.
Now on to the happy news! On June 14, the box that had six eggs that hatched on May 26 fledged all six chickadees! Here they are at age day nine.
And here they are just ten days later at 8:30am on the morning they left the nest. I knew they were close to fledging, so I slipped my phone into the box to take this precious picture without opening the box. They fledged 1-1/2 hour later and I was able to see 3 of them leave the nest. They were in the nest 19 days, a day longer than average, but the expected fledge day was the second of two miserably rainy days. It was good to see them wait until a beautiful sunny day to leave the nestbox.
And here they are just eight days later.
This was my last look through the top of the box when the nestlings were 16 days old. They're probably within 2 days of leaving the nest here!
Mom and dad chickadee have been feeding them a high protein diet of caterpillars from nature and live mealworms that we provide. When we put the mealworms out in the window feeders, we whistle a couple feebee calls and usually within minutes, the adults start taking advantage of our easy food source.
I estimate the nestlings will leave the nest on Tuesday June 24. Here's hoping I get to witness at least part of their entry into this world!!