I finally got chickadees back into at least one of my bird houses. How cool. It seems to be true what they say about cleaning old nests out of bird houses. If you don't, next year's birds think the bird house is already occupied and look elsewhere.
As I mentioned here before, the first year I put the chickadee houses up, a pair moved into the one on the chestnut tree on the south side of the house. I cleaned the box out after they left and we had new birds move in for a few years.
Then, for some reason, I stopped cleaning out the boxes. No more chickadees.
I finally decided to clean out both houses earlier this year. We'd seen chickadees in the back yard and were hoping some would occupy the boxes but didn't see any indication of interest...until yesterday morning.
I saw a small bird fly into the box on the apple tree. Then I saw it dart out a few seconds later. Shortly after that he was in and out again. He was so quick I couldn't get a good look and couldn't even tell if he was building a nest or feeding the female. I wasn't sure it was even a chickadee as it looked too small and I couldn't see the colors.
This morning I finally got a good look. It was a chickadee.
This is the first time I believe I've seen any birds move into in the apple tree box. I've seen them checking it out before, but never moved in. They usually prefer the chestnut tree box.
This is fun because chickadees are friendly birds.