Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Buyer's Market

Last year a delightful chickadee couple moved into the purely decorative birdhouse that we brought back from Yakima several years ago. We delighted in watching these industrious birds care for their babies as they spent hours and hours catching bugs and delivering them to their wee ones. But a random act of violence ended it all when a pair of sparrows began harassing them. The male managed to enter the birdhouse and kill the babies and that was the end of that. After doing some research I discovered that this is a common problem for chickadees as they are in competition with the sparrows for nesting sites. The murdering sparrows in our yard, however, showed no interest in this nest. So much for that theory. I also learned that I needed to make some alterations to this birdhouse to prevent this tragedy from happening again.
At a local "birding" store I found a copper plate that I could place over the too-large opening on the birdhouse. Now only chickadees can get in and out. I also had to remove the "perch" where other birds could sit and bother them. Chickadees can hold onto the opening itself, but larger birds cannot. I also purchased another birdhouse designed especially for chicadees.
Both birdhouses have been out since last fall and I was hoping that some lovely couple would move in to at least one of them.

Yesterday I noticed a pair of chickadees scoping out both houses. It was such a treat to observe. First the male checked them out, looking carefully at the outside then the inside. Much "discussion" took place and then the female followed suit. I'm not sure what their decision was. Time will tell!

1 comment:

Jessica Whitaker said...

And the moral of the story is that birds by nature are murderous, violent and a menace to those around them!