I had watched them for only three days. His regular bringing of food to the doorway led me to believe she was keeping eggs warm, if not already brooding newly hatched young. Then on the fourth day all was quiet. Being only two weeks from the time of the building of the nest and not yet having heard tiny chirps, I'm pretty sure it was too soon for nestlings to have fledged. I watched for a few more days, making sure all nest activity had ceased before I dared open the box to peek inside. The only sign of activity was a large bumble bee flying around near the box. At first I thought the mother had died on her nest. On closer inspection, it turned out to be only fluff, or down.
In this day of hi-tech instant answers to questions, it seems inconceivable that we will never know what happened. Still, the wonder and mystery of the natural world is exactly that. Wonder and mystery. Even in a civilized backyard, we can never have all the answers. It is as it should be—and the reason for the magnetic attraction for all of us, is it not?
I was so looking forward to seeing a chickadee family into the world. Was it my imagination that the mysterious black cat lurking in the bushes across the way on the morning of the fourth day of observation was licking his chops? But now I have another guess that may be more likely. Will share it next post. It has to do with what we found on April 7th when we removed the nest from the box, and what still buzzes there today. Anyone care to guess before I post pictures? dkm
|Sir Chickadee at the door, March 28|
|Several days of silence and mystery|
|Closer view, April 4th|