I have a quick story to share with you which further emphasizes the need to pay attention to your backyard I spoke of in my last post. It’s a story about seeing a need and filling it and the feeling you can get doing that. This story involves one of my favorite feeder birds, the Carolina chickadee.
A few years ago, before I ever had any Eastern Bluebirds in my backyard, I had chickadees. I had originally put out two bluebird houses in hopes of attracting them. For the first years I was feeding, I barely had bluebirds do anything more than come by, take a look and disappear. I have no idea what was wrong with the houses then but they never moved in. This is the reason I was able to establish a yearly landlord relationship with chickadees. Every year, just as winter was loosening its grip the chickadees would come by and start a nest in the bluebird house closest to my house. I even had two families once or twice which more than doubled my satisfaction. Not only would they come by early but they would also start building again as soon as I cleaned out the box. It was not unusual for me to have three broods in a row in that box.
That is, until the bluebirds decided to move in. Once they did, everything changed back there. The bluebirds would visit the box several times throughout the year just to make sure I hadn’t rented the place to anybody else. All they had to do was ask me-LOL! The chickadees would come by and be shooed away by the bluebirds. Last year, the bluebirds went so far as to evict chickadees that had started to build a nest. I have never seen them do that before.
This year, I noticed chickadees fawning over the bluebird box again and I felt bad for them. So, the next day I went to Wild Birds Unlimited and picked up a chickadee/wren house. I brought it home and put it up the same day.
I’m really glad I did!!!
Not two days later, I checked the house and the chickadees had already put down a serious layer of moss-the foundation of the chickadee “home.” Since then, I’ve checked the box daily to see their progress and they have continued to add to it. I expect to see eggs any time now and I’ll post those when I do.
Paying attention to your backyard visitors and activity can greatly increase the chance you may help one of them and your overall enjoyment with your backyard sanctuary. Had I not been observant, the poor chickadees would not have been able to establish a nest so quickly or might even have been evicted again.
What about you? Have you helped one of your backyard friends by seeing their need or anticipating it? Leave me a comment below and dish out the details!