It’s been a week since I last looked in the chickadee nest box. It’s a bit early for chickadees to be laying eggs and incubating, but with the early spring anything is possible. My Black-capped Chickadee couple, Ricky and Lucy, seemed ready and anxious to start their family. A week ago that nest appeared just about complete.
Today I approached the box calling for Ricky and Lucy and tapped the side of the box. No bird exited. I lifted the side panel to expose the nest and took a side view picture. There was no evidence that a bird was in the box. I secured the side panel and when I lifted the panel on top of the box…OUT FLEW LUCY! She perched nearby and scolded me. Fee bee bee! Fee bee bee! Fee bee bee! And then Ricky came flying over from the nearby field. Boy! Now I was in trouble! I snapped a few photos, secured the top panel and moved away. Ricky and Lucy flew away and I did not see a bird re-enter the box. Now that they are firmly committed to the box, it’s not likely a little peek inside the box will be enough to make them abandon the nest.
I found 6 eggs in the nest. It appears that Lucy laid the first egg on Tuesday, April 3 and laid one every morning since. Chickadees generally lay from 6-8 eggs and begin incubating the day before the last egg is laid. Lucy is apparently incubating now, so I expect there will be no more eggs in the clutch. Lucy will incubate her eggs for 12-13 days.
Hopefully Lucy is snug in her nest tonight and will be happily incubating her clutch this week until I check up on her again.