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As I cleaned out the three bird boxes last week, I could not resist photographing the nest of the Black Cap Chickadee.

Black cap chickadee

The adorable, tiny black cap chickadee. 

Constructed during the unusually cold spring, this bird insulated her eggs/chicks with divine plushness. Notice the moss base topped with what appeared to be wool or dog hair. I am astonished how creative these birds are when Mother Nature throws a curve ball.


Keep in mind as you view these images the fact that this small bird erects her nest without help from a mate, only using her mandible, feet, and flight. The entire interior of the box was filled with this material…picked bit by bit and carefully constructed. Are you impressed?


End view. If you were a chickadee, would you be glad to enter this world snugged in by this nest?


Custom made, mouthful by mouthful, this beautiful nest is used only for one brood per year. I encourage moss in my gardens solely for this purpose.


Carolina Wren and Eastern Bluebird nests are totally trashed by the time the brood fledges, often found with many mites and fecal matter. This nest was pristine, tidy with no mess. I hated to take it to the burn barrel, but alas. Before doing so, I had to capture and share photos with followers.

Also happy to report that the resident Eastern Bluebirds have so far this spring successfully fledged two broods of three chicks each. Within days of the last fledge, the adults are back and the female is constructing her third nest. This is a first for my garden’s box, as summer is usually too steamy for a third go. Yet I am confident that this “professional” pair of birds will make do. I gave the box’s interior a good scrub and added Diatomaceous earth to the bottom of the box to ward off blow fly and other blood sucking parasites so common to these birds.

nestling bluebirds day nine

Nestling bluebirds day nine ~ Swallowtail Cottage

As another steamy Virginia summer heats up, I am delighted each day by the wild bird activity in my gardens, observed from my air-conditioned home. Eastern Bluebirds, Black-Cap Chickadees, Northern Cardinals, Red Bellied Woodpeckers, and Carolina Wrens are by far my favorite birds and they are spoiled by hand-chopped sunflower seeds I deliver throughout the day to my rear terrace. Despite challenges from the plethora of invasive 2020 squirrels, I am slowing winning the battle.

Observation of wild birds, their distinct behavioral patterns, intelligence, beauty, and ability to adapt is truly remarkable. I am so envious of their innate ability to just simply fly.

What birds do you love best? What have you learned from your observations?

Keep safe.

Copyright © 2020 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved