Monday, June 5, 2017

THE CHICKADEES LOST THE WAR

    I've had a small nest box in my backyard for years. I think this may be the third or fourth rendition of the box. It's a small box suited to small birds. The entrance is high up in the box and is a small diameter to let in only little birds.

    Over the years I've had many residents that have raised families. It's fascinating to first watch for nest competition , nest building, egg incubation, young birds and then leaving the nest. I've had Red breasted nuthatches, Tree swallows, Black-capped chickadees, Boreal chickadees and House sparrows. Several nests were abandoned.

    Now bout a week ago I noticed a small gray bird quickly enter and leave the box. It was so fast I couldn't identify the bird. I have no idea how long the birds were at the nest before I saw them. After a few days I could see that they were Boreal chickadees. Great! I get a bird family this summer.

    Well, not so fast Red. Today house sparrows showed up. Actually quite a few House sparrows were at the nest. Then I noted House sparrows carrying nest material to the box. So the Boreal chickadees had to abandon their new nest.

     It's sad to see bird's nests be destroyed . but I realize it is the order of the day in the wild. However, I will harass those dirty rotten House sparrows so that they will wish they'd never met me.

      A great photo of a boreal chickadee by Angela  Maclean

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36 comments:

  1. I almost wish I hadn't started feeding our birds because this is what is happening with the feeders, too! Certain birds are pigging out and leaving nothing for the others. It's even greater hardship for them to lose their nests. As you say, it's the way of nature, but it's hard to see it happen. All the critters have to try to stay alive.

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    1. It's the way things happen in nature but the House sparrow is an imported species.

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  2. Oh, bad house sparrows! I always root for the little birdies.

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    1. They are very small and fragile and need a friend or two.

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  3. Those bullies! It's very nice of you to have something for them to nest in.

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    1. I enjoy watching them raise a family.

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  4. Do Red-breasted nuthatches wear tiny T-shirts with portraits of you printed on the front?

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  5. The battle of the strongest...

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    1. A battle of the strongest and the bullies.

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  6. I'm a chickadee fan, so have at it, Red!

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    1. I will get even with those baddies.

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  7. I actually stopped feeding the birds on my front porch because of the house sparrows, which became a real nuisance. I loved the chickadees and nuthatches and goldfinch. But the house sparrows took over. :-(

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    1. House sparrows are not a big nuisance at my feeders. I have a few squirrels I'd like to send your way.

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  8. Nature is sometimes so cruel.

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    1. Yes, and when we step in we don't always help.

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  9. I guess everything competes for resources.

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    1. You've go the perfect word for the House sparrow.

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  11. Aw, nuts. I was rooting for the chickadees!

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    1. I have had them nest successfully and they're fun to watch.

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  12. The survival of the fittest. Sad.

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    1. But, my House Sparrows are not natives!

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  13. Some birds can be quite obnoxious at times.

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    1. I'd just like them to mind their own business.

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  14. We don't see many of those English Sparrows but the grackles have move in here en mass...

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    1. Grackles pass through here during migration. they're pretty aggressive.

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  15. From what I've read, house sparrows are bullies. Poor little chickadees! They are such sweet birds.

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  16. Aww, too bad for the chickadees. Hopefully they found somewhere suitable!

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  17. Too bad the Chickadee had to move :( Sparrows are bully birds! :(

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  18. I used too see lots of best building back in village and loved it .
    It were spiritual experiences .now i live in a city but have garden with shurbs where birds often come for nesting in different seasons it is great pleasure to see them make their best and develop families front of my eyes.
    I feel sorry that sparrows spoiled the best of your favourite birds but hope to see them around soon .

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  19. I've never seen the boreal chickadee. Aren't they pretty! We have lots of the black-capped chickadee, the little acrobats. We surely must have house sparrows, there are so many sparrows around.

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  20. I have a bird house I put up next to my apartment. The Black-capped Chickadees keep trying, but the House Wren won't stand for it.
    I tried moving the box to different locations, that wren just has a bad attitude! Luckily our House Sparrows are too fat to fit...

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  21. Hi Red, I like that comment where Far Side said the Sparrows are bully birds. Right on!

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  22. You are too funny, Red. However, I prefer chickadees to sparrows any day.

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