Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cuter than a Chickadee - Nest Tube Update

 Five little chickadee eggs equals....

CChickadees eggs

five little chickadee chicks.


So, what's cuter than a chickadee? How about baby chickadees!

These little Carolina chickadees are in my chickadee nest tube I constructed last year. They are about two weeks old now and will be fledging within the next few days (between 16 -19 days).  As a matter of fact, today will be my last time peaking at them because at this age they could fledge prematurely if disturbed too much.

It's been fun watching the parents go back and forth into the nest cavity feeding their babies.


Both the male and female take part in caring for the young. Carolina chickadees will normally raise just one brood a year. I'm looking forward to seeing the young ones around the yard this summer.

To learn more about Carolina chickadees check out these links: /


Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Whimbrel Project

 The Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge serves as one of the country's most valuable stop-overs for migratory birds. Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay, this 1,127-acre refuge was established in 1984 for migratory birds and endangered species management. I'm fortunate to live not that far from this prime birding refuge. Sites like these are very important to birds like whimbrels who stop over in the spring to rest and refuel before heading north to their summer grounds.

Whimbrel's (click link to see a photo of the bird) are one of the most wide-ranging shorebirds in the world. One particular whimpel named 'Hope' is helping scientist understand why this particular shore bird is on the decline. I first heard about Hope from an article in my local newspaper and was amazed at how far whimbrels travel in one year - over 14,000 miles...WOW!

Hope was captured last spring on VA Eastern Shore and fitted with a transmitter. This study is designed to identify stop-over sites that are important to whimbrels and make a case for preserving these sites. This is a very important project because whimbrels have been declining in recent years - mostly due to land development.

Hope recently returned to Virginia's Eastern shore where she'll spend a few weeks resting up and eating fiddler crabs. Her next stop will be to her nesting site in western Canada, near Alaska.

What's amazing is the fact that Hope came back to the exact same mudflat where she was caught last year. It's a wonder how they do this. Here's a map that shows Hope's path over the last year:

Whimbrel Map 

Map Source: Center for Conservation Biology, ESRI, USGS


Happy Earth Day everyone!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Eggs


 Look at what's arrived just in time for Easter. The warm spring weather has the birds extra active in my area and the nesting season is well underway. Above is a Eastern Bluebird nest in one of my pvc nest boxes. Eastern  Bluebirds normally lay between 3 - 6 eggs.

Another early season nester is the Carolina Chickadee. Those who have followed this blog may remember the chickadee nest tube I built last spring. I'm please to report that the pair of chickadees I posted about a couple months back have decided to make it their home. Carolina Chickadees normally lay between 3 - 8 eggs. That's their eggs below.


These may not be traditional Easter eggs, but their still fun to find. Have a great Easter everyone!!

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said... (Matthew 28:6)