Monday evening I made another round of my nestboxes, seeing how things were going, who had moved in where, etc.
Most of the boxes remain empty except for some ladybug carcasses and spider webs. The new box my dad and I put up to replace one with a broken roof, however, was stuffed with a pine needle nest - very likely bluebirds!
Only one, however, has a full-time resident: the black-capped chickadee. I knew she was using this box, so I tapped on it a few times to let her know I was there in case she wanted to leave, but no one flew out of the box. I really hoped that her nest hadn't been predated by a raccoon or something, for there were eight eggs here the last time I checked.
So, I slowly opened the door and peeked in. Do you see her tail feathers sticking up just to the left of center? She was well hunkered down, protecting her eggs from all intruders. If I stood up on my tiptoes, and she stretched up her beak, I could just make out her head. I didn't want to disturb her any more than I already had, so I took this quick shot of her tail and closed the door with good wishes for a safe night.