Staging a Chickadee bird house for rent – Q & A

Q.  You’re pulling my leg, right?  Staging a wild bird house?  What do you do? Apply a fresh coast of paint?  Put a potted plant on the front door perch?
A.  There is no perch.  A perch at the bird house entry could invite competing birds and animals that may be dangerous predators to the Chickadees.  I staged the house for viewing by placing pieces of bark peeled from my birch tree on the floor of the bird house to encourage a Chickadee pair to claim it as a nesting site.

Q.  Oh!  So, do the birds use the bark to build a nest?
A.  No.  They remove it.

Q.  Then, what is appealing about it if they don’t want it?
A.  It makes them think it’s an old woodpecker tree hole with chips of bark the woodpecker would have left behind from its excavation.

Q.  So, Chickadees will live in used woodpecker tree holes but don’t want the old woodpecker excavation waste on their floor?
A.  Exactly!  Making my Chickadee nest box similar to the cavities they find in nature makes it more, well, “homey”, I guess you could say.

Q.  Why don’t the Chickadees excavate their own tree holes instead of occupying the woodpeckers’?
A.  They do if they can find a suitable place in soft, rotted wood.  But they can’t peck fresh, hard wood like woodpeckers.

Q.  Got it! So some handsome Chickadee named Ricky finds the nest box with what appears to be natural woodpecker excavation waste on the floor and chirps, “Hey, Lucy! Come over and take a look at this place!  Do you think it has possibilities?”
A.  Yep. That’s pretty much what happens. And Lucy will be the one to make the final decision about the nest site selection.

Q.  So, do you think those wood chips will help rent out your Chickadee house this spring? A.  A pair has already put down deposit money, so to speak. The box has been cleaned out! I know they appreciated my “staging” the house for their consideration. I’m excited and hoping they will be signing the final contract and moving in soon.

As always, I’ll keep you posted.

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4 Responses to Staging a Chickadee bird house for rent – Q & A

  1. Doris Farr says:

    I live in Michigan and have a pair of chickadees nesting in a china or glass decorative bird house. I thought it was for decoration only. The female has been going in and out and
    often stays in there and pecks and pecks and pecks. I did not prepare it in any way. I even
    really cleaned it out last fall. The backing of the house is cardboard. Odd don’t you think. and
    it does have a little perch at the entrance.

    • The Chickadee is doing what comes naturally….pecking to complete “excavation” of the cavity to its liking and clean out the wood chips. Problem is there is nothing to excavate. That’s where putting in a few wood chips makes it feel more natural to them. They like to have something to clean out. Well, your Chickadees liked your “decorative” piece so much, they may stay! You’ll have fun watching them. I wish you many healthy Chickadee fledglings. If you want to encourage them to come again, get a good wooden box that’s the right size and is easy for you to open to clean out. Thanks for stopping by to chat, Doris! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Woodpecker Posse: Or 311 #Fail « A Robin Hood's Musing

  3. Pingback: Ricky and Lucy are busy moving in. | How To Spy On Birds

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