Friday, May 6, 2016

Bluebirds! Season 6. Episode 5. Chickadee problems.

Eastern Bluebird, Charles River Peninsula, Needham, MA
What a dismal week. I delayed box checking because the weather was just too cold and wet. Meanwhile, migration has been slow. But the two bluebird boxes with eggs continue.
Box 4
Meanwhile, you may remember me discovering a bona fide chickadee nest in a previous post. And jokingly wondering if a tree swallow would build over it. Well, it appears I called it. When I felt for eggs in the box, I felt a couple of hard lumps under matted fur--chickadee eggs unlikely to ever hatch...
Box 14
Meanwhile, on the other side of the property, a house sparrow-turned tree swallow nest now has a topping of fur and moss. I actually saw chickadees exploring this box earlier in the week. I told them they were crazy. But we can wait and see....

Box 9
And last week's scene of contention between bluebirds and tree swallows has attracted the unwelcome attention of house sparrows, driven once and for all, apparently, from box 7. The bluebirds seem to have given up. There is an unfinished tree swallow nest in the box. And a dead tree swallow near box 8. Another one. I'm going to point fingers at the house sparrows this time.
American Kestrel, Charles River Peninsula, Needham, MA
In other news, our resident kestrel, still without a mate, remains a daily presence at the peninsula.
American Kestrel (left) v. Red-tailed Hawk (right)
While it is usually on the receiving end of mobbing birds, I enjoy watching it dive-bombing larger raptors.
Red-tailed Hawk v. Red-winged Blackbird
Even if it's not the one who eventually drives them off.

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