Well, I just saw it for myself, from the landlord's perspective. I was awakened at six this morning by two tenants squabbling over a low-rent apartment.
It started when one of the ash-throated flycatchers, who just arrived this week, landed on the railing outside the bedroom, making its typical chip-chip-churrup call. But then it changed to a different call, one I'd never heard before, a low and insistent repetitive trill.
But the nest box on that deck was already occupied by a pair of mountain chickadees. The chickadees have been there more than a week and are clearly not interested in vacating, even for a flycatcher twice their size. They made their kissy-noise chickadee call right back at the flycatcher, and the flycatcher eventually gave up and flew away.
Fortunately, unlike the county's problem, this one is relatively easily solved. There's another nest box, which I think is still unoccupied this year, just below the garden fence.
I guess, like the county, I should consider adding more subsidized housing. I could have sworn I bought a third nest box when I bought those two, and never got around to putting it up, But I can't find it now. I guess it's time to buy or make another nest box or two.
It's a nice problem to have. When I first bought these birdhouses, I didn't really expect I'd get any takers. But in the six years I've had them, they've hosted at least one nest each year, sometimes two or three. in addition to ash-throated flycatchers and mountain chickadees, they've also Bewick's wrens also use them.
Although they're sold as bluebird boxes, I've never had a bluebird use them; bluebirds fly over and sometimes stop for a drink, but they don't hang around or breed. I know there are skillions of bluebirds over in Pajarito Acres, only a few miles away, but I'm not sure how to entice them to hang out here. They're bug eaters and not interested in seed. A few voices on the 'net suggest that commercial bluebird boxes are designed for eastern bluebirds, and western bluebird boxes should have a slightly larger hole. So far I've been too lazy to do anything about that, but I do have woodworking tools, including a set of hole saws and Forstner bits. Maybe I'll put that on the to-do list for this week. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy the chickadees and flycatchers.
[ 09:13 May 15, 2021 More nature/birds | permalink to this entry | ]