Nests & Eggs
Chestnut-backed Chickadee Nests
Chestnut-backed Chickadees use moss as their main source of nest material and they line the top of the nest with fur. The nests look like great futons. Nearly every year the chickadees have two clutches and often build the second nest on top of the old one. In the picture of the double nest, you can see the cat fur topping of their first nest, then they used rose petals and continued upward with moss and topped off the second nest with more fur.
Chestnut-backed Chickadee Eggs
Although most nests have an average of 6 eggs, we've had Chestnut-backed Chickadees lay 10 eggs in a single nest.
The eggs are very, very small. So small that one egg fits in a 1/8 teaspoon!
Notice the spider on the eggs in the following picture. This nest was abandoned. Every year we have at least two nest boxes of Chestnut-backed Chickadees and every year one nest is abandoned. Our first year we thought it was abandoned because the weather hit record-breaking highs. The next year we thought it was because the flicker was hammering at the top of the nest box. This past year, we didn't notice anything that would make them abandon the nest, but they did.
Watch a video of an adult Chestnut-backed Chickadee leaving with a fecal sac from the nest box. You can watch another video of a Chestnut-backed Chickadee fledgling. This is his first day out of the nest box and he's waiting for someone to come and feed him. You can also read more about Chestnut-backed Chickadees in the Backyard Birds Section.
Tree Swallow Nest With Eggs
Tree Swallows lay about 4 white eggs. Their nest is mostly straw and feathers. They don't make a huge nest like the chickadees do.
In our area, Tree Swallows have a problem with mites. Placing wood ashes and cedar chips in the bottom of their nest boxes helps prevent a mite invasion. You can read more about Tree Swallows in the Backyard Birds Section.