We have a chickadee family nesting in our birdhouse again this year. Watching Mama and Papa fly back and forth–literally hundreds of times each day–reminds me that parenting is a lot of work, regardless of whether your offspring have legs or wings! Occasionally they stop for a moment to take a quick bath in the birdbath, but then it’s back to work.
Mama and Papa chickadee–mate for life–and lay one clutch of 4 to 12 eggs early spring to mid-summer. Eggs are incubated by Mama eleven to thirteen days. During this time, Papa feeds her. After hatching, first Papa and then both the Mama and Papa feed their rapidly growing chicks. Young fledge in fourteen to eighteen days and remain with the parental pair for another three to four weeks.
Meanwhile, back at the nest, Mama and Papa look bedraggled. Their feathers are a bit unkempt and they look–well, harried. I know how they feel! I’m also excited with anticipation. Two years ago a set of triplets appeared in our backyard. They were absolutely adorable. Fingers crossed a healthy brood emerges soon!
Take the road less traveled, Beth