Someone has finally begun to move in to Izzy’s bluebird house. It stayed vacant all last year.
Izzy made the house in spring, when we chanced upon a program at Warner Park Nature Center. He trailed a group of children headed toward what turned out to be a planned project near the pond. A volunteer had cut cedar pickets into bluebird house panels, photocopied the plans, and even provided rebar and galvanized pipe to make a pole. The kids took turns with too few hammers, and Izzy managed to cobble together a house. The teen who loaned his hammer had quite a cold: at one point the reappearing snot rope stretched to a couple of feet before he snuffed it back in. I worried we were borrowing more than just his hammer.
Back home, I realized the rebar, pipe and brackets were so easy I could install the house alone, without any brawny assistance. Shortly thereafter, a House Wren poked a few twigs into the house, but I cleared them out. I knew the wren had two other prime nesting cavities in the yard. (House Wrens fill every property with twigs on spec.)
Just last week, I checked the house and it was still clean. But today, when Izzy and I went outside for a breather, we found a stack of moss. Soon after, we saw a chickadee fly in and out. A chickadee. Izzy got quiet.
“I wanted a Bluebird.”
The strips are bits of bark peeled from my cedar post by the garden: a big branch Michael brought home from a fallen tree. We watched it fly back to the pole, peel a string and fly it to the house. I wonder if the bark retains insecticidal properties that will benefit the residents, and if the birds know this?
Izzy and I looked online for information about chickadee nests, and after he saw pictures and read about the moss and the 6 speckled eggs and the 14-day incubation period, he was a lot happier about his tenants.
We’ve agreed to check for eggs not more often than once a day, and keep a lookout for babies 14 days later. Fingers crossed.