Mariton: Nesting Activity
Activity in the nest boxes is heating up. The bluebird nest that was started a few week ago has been completed. Now there are 4 eggs in the nest. In this photo, you can just see the eggs shielded by the grass from the nest.
Chickadees are building two different nests. Their nests are made mostly of moss, and usually have deer hair or animal fur as a top layer. You can see that this nest isn’t quite finished, because it lacks the layer of hair on top.
In the old days, I would have been comfortable calling this a Black-capped Chickadee. But in the last few years Carolina Chickadees have moved farther north and now breeding in this area, which was traditionally only used by Black-capped Chickadees. Bird experts feel that the two species are learning each other songs, which always helped us differentiate Carolinas from Black-caps. Now ornithologists feel that in some places that the two species may actually be interbreeding. On most bird censuses in this area, the two are combined into one category: Chickadee. I am not hearing Carolina Chickadee songs at Mariton, but I don’t have to travel very far south before I do.