According to my Black-capped Chickadee lifecycle chart, tomorrow is the day my little chickadees may be fledging! Well, I can’t believe they are ready to fly out of the nest box. But, I am making plans to keep my binoculars trained on that nest box tomorrow. The deck furniture is getting a scrub and will be in place. If the weather accomodates, I will be outside. Whether inside or outside, I will be spying on chickadee activity very closely.
Today’s activity suggests fledging is coming close. Ricky or Lucy flew to the suet feeder, grabbed a mouthful of suet and made a bee line for the nest box – evidence the nestlings are being weaned from their insect-rich infant formula to real world food scavenging. A bit later as I was filling the hopper feeder and suet feeder, a chickadee was scolding loudly. I could not tell if it was one of my parent pair, but it’s body language told me it was. The bird clearly did not want me to be at the feeder station at that moment. Finally, it defiantly flew down to the hopper, grabbed a safflower seed and headed back to the branches above to beat it open and finish it off. Meanwhile, I glanced over to the nest box across the yard and saw one of the parents fly in.
There is a lot of in and out activity at the Lucy and Ricky Chickadee nest box apartment today and very clearly some weaning. So, maybe fledging will be on schedule tomorrow. If not tomorrow, very, very soon.
And when that happens – there will be a lot of chickadees chirping from the hawthorn tree branches above the feeder station.
Things are just beginning to get interesting.