Nesting Carolina Chickadees and new migrants 4-20-16

April 20, 2016  •  2 Comments

Ten days have flown by and birds have been very busy here. The Carolina Chickadees continue to feed their nestlings. On Monday, 4/11, they were looking for tiny, tiny caterpillars like this one on a Blackhaw Viburnum.

 

Carolina Chickadee with tiny caterpillar in Blackhaw Viburnum 4-11-16Carolina Chickadee with tiny caterpillar in Blackhaw Viburnum 4-11-16

 

Within a week, the youngsters have graduated to much bigger caterpillars!  

 

Carolina Chickadee with caterpillars for nestlings  4-18-16Carolina Chickadee with caterpillars for nestlings 4-18-16 Carolina Chickadee with caterpillars at nest 4-18-16Carolina Chickadee with caterpillars at nest 4-18-16

 

One of the parents is usually close by, but not always.  A new migrant checked out the nest on Monday 4/18.  Like clockwork, the bird showed up again this year on the same date.

 

House Wren at chickadee nest 4-18-16House Wren at chickadee nest 4-18-16

 

Yes, it's a House Wren. It didn't stay long, it checks out many different places to build a nest.

 

House Wren at chickadee nest 4-18-16House Wren at chickadee nest 4-18-16

 

Phew, the adults were back and one had to wait to go inside.  

 

Carolina Chickadees 4-18-16Carolina Chickadees 4-18-16 Carolina Chickadee with caterpillars 4-18-16Carolina Chickadee with caterpillars 4-18-16

 

Baby birds are hungry for this protein and like any babies, it's all about eating and pooping. The fecal sacs are carried far from the nest box and that is simply good housekeeping.

 

Carolina Chickadee removing fecal sac 4-18-16Carolina Chickadee removing fecal sac 4-18-16

 

Other birds are busy with pair-bonding, like these Northern Cardinals. It's a pledge of commitment for the male to feed his mate.

 

Northern Cardinals pair-bonding 4-19-16Northern Cardinals pair-bonding 4-19-16

 

Warblers are beginning to show up at the bubbler!  There were several male Yellow-rumped Warblers on Tuesday 4/19. They overwinter here, and we'll be seeing them for a while before they move on north for the summer. They sure do brighten things up in their breeding plumage as they get ready to impress the females.

 

Yellow-rumped Warbler 4-19-16Yellow-rumped Warbler 4-19-16 Yellow-rumped Warbler 4-19-16Yellow-rumped Warbler 4-19-16 Yellow-rumped Warbler 4-19-16Yellow-rumped Warbler 4-19-16

 

A new arrival, an Orange-crowned Warbler came in to investigate the area on Tuesday.

 

Orange-crowned Warbler 4-19-16Orange-crowned Warbler 4-19-16

 

Warblers, like chickadees, are foliage gleaners and constantly search for caterpillars crawling along branches or hiding within leaf buds or curled leaves. According to Doug Tallamy's research, 96% of our terrestrial birds eat moth and butterfly caterpillars and feed them to their young. The moths and butterflies lay their eggs on native plants like the Blackhaw Viburnum, which supports 97 species of them.

 

http://www.bringingnaturehome.net/gardening-for-life.html

 

This Orange-crowned Warbler found a meal in a curled leaf on the Blackhaw Viburnum near the deck.

 

Orange-crowned Warbler with caterpillar on Blackhaw Viburnum 4-19-16Orange-crowned Warbler with caterpillar on Blackhaw Viburnum 4-19-16

 

It is so much fun to see these beautiful birds returning!

 

Orange-crowned Warbler 4-19-16Orange-crowned Warbler 4-19-16


Comments

Barb Kahn(non-registered)
Margy I love all the special happenings
In your haven that you share! Wouldn't it be a gift in our world if humans made a space for others that were different and in need:)
Brian(non-registered)
What a great job of capturing bird behavior. I had not heard of adults feeding each other as part of pair bonding, much less seen it in action. Keep up the good work!
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