Early yesterday morning, as the sun emerged from the clouds over the horizon, the four note song of the Carolina Chickadee drifted through our window. The little birds looked as if they were doing their morning calisthenics, hopping from branch to branch. Only later did I wonder if their activity was a birth announcement.
They are nesting in a birdhouse located in the old dogwood tree near the front of our house.
There is a quick glance out the door...
...before they take flight.
My first hint that the nestlings had hatched was when I saw the diaper disposal.
Carolina Chickadees are very neat.
Both parents feed the nestlings, and several minutes elapses between each feeding, so, like a bank robber timing the alarms, I calculated that I could get a look before the parents returned. As soon as one of the parents flew away, I set up a ladder, opened the hinged roof, and took a quick snapshot. In and out in 60 seconds.
At this point, the most predominant feature of the nestlings is their mouths, and considering how tightly the birds are packed in the nest and how quickly they get fed, it's good that the parents have big targets. The nestling's unopened eyes are only bumps on their heads and a few tiny feathers indicate their wings. Their are at least eight of them, and possibly one or two more.
Today we noticed that the branch that supports the birdhouse is rotten, and since rain and high winds are forecasted for tomorrow, we trussed the birdhouse up to a sturdier branch, while one of the parents looked patiently on.
We hope they sleep well as the wind rocks their cradle. We'll sleep better knowing that they're secure.
Linking with Wild Bird Wednesday