Your post today (4/29/10) reminded me to send this photo of a Red-bellied Woodpecker. It was taken a couple of years ago outside our living room window.
If you know of any other nature programs e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org,
Birds seem to understand this. The one pair of bluebirds that nested early was probably an experienced, older pair that knows the area well and knows where all the food sources are located. The others were probably newly mated and trying out different nesting sites.
If they started building a nest they’ll probably be back when the weather turns nicer. New pairs might start later because they want to be sure that when the babies are born there’ll be lots of food available to feed the many mouths.
Once the weather is right and the best nest is chosen, songbirds like chickadees will lay one egg a day. They don't start sitting on the nest immediately. The bird will begin to incubate the eggs after her clutch is complete. That way the babies are born on the same day and there isn’t competition between older and younger babies. So you may not see your chickadee because she is out foraging and taking advantage of her last moments of freedom before her confinement to the nest.
It’s better to be safe than sorry and leave all the bird nests alone. I’m happy so many people are involved in their birds' nesting. Keep us updated.
Concerns: Scientific surveys of wild bats typically report rabies in less than 0.5% for most North American bat species. In addition, bats are not “carriers” of rabies; when a bat gets the disease it will die. Bats also tend to become paralyzed with the disease, often avoiding the aggressive form of rabies.
Bats prefer to live in dead trees during the summer. Without natural habitat, brown bats will take up residence in human-made buildings. Rather than killing these beneficial mammals, prevent entry into your home by locating and plugging potential entrance holes after sunset when they leave. Putting up a bat house nearby may discourage them from entering your home while keeping them in the area.