Choosy Chickadees. Happy House Finches

We were standing in the driveway when a young chestnut-backed chickadee couple (Poecile rufescens to their friends) came by to check out the real estate in our coast live oak tree. They looked around for quite a few minutes. Mr Chickadee was enthusiastic. His fine lady hung out in the branches nearby, looking unconvinced.

Mr Chickadee: Honey, look! I found the perfect house!
Ms Chickadee: You gotta be kidding. It doesn't even look like a house. I want a proper hole in a tree.
Mr Chickadee: It's modern, it's convenient. See you can hang out on this twig and fly over to the door when it's safe. Back. Forth. Back. Forth. You can pop right in the door. Out again. In again. Back to the twig. It's great!

Ms Chickadee: I just don't think so, sweetheart. I think maybe squirrels or snakes could get in there. We have to think of the children. Let's move on. The realtor told me about a lovely madrone over the way with a big apartment on the 25th floor.

And so there was - I saw a chickadee disappearing into a knot hole high up on our elegantly dying madrone.

This is the second year a couple has seriously considered our nesting box only to move on. I need to figure out what would make a more attractive location. This one is very convenient to a window where one can watch and take photos, though.

In other bird news, the house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) are still flying in and out of our garage but I don't see much difference in the Webster where they are seemingly intent on making their family home. They are always together, flying here and there. Singing on the corner of the upper deck railing that overlooks the garage. I don't have good pictures yet but here's a couple to give you the idea...

The Webster into which they dive with assorted grass and twigs is the dark blob right in the middle of the photo above.

Below is a blurry picture of the happy couple sitting on a dangling electrical cord. The spiky blob near them is the chimney sweeping brush, which they sensibly ignore, preferring the soft Webster.

The garage door is staying open for the duration!


It's interesting the birdhouse is being passed over for the garage! I wonder why?
Town Mouse said…
Wonderful pictures! But what I want to know is: What's a Webster. I looked it up on Webster's, but no luck. Mr. Mouse didn't know either...
Country Mouse said…
You can see a Webster on this Amazon product page:

Monica - your comment reminds me of the old truism about children preferring the cardboard box to the toy that lies within! Of course house finches and chickadees have different criteria in mind when it comes to house hunting. Still, I am very surprised. I also suspect that woodpeckers are nesting between a solar panel and the roof - must seem like suitable cavity. Not sure - they haven't been flying back and forth today like they were yesterday.
Darling stories! I look forward to the next installments.
Genevieve said…
What a great photo-story! I've always wondered if birds could really be convinced to use a birdhouse. Unfortunately, which such great hunters as cats, I try not to encourage any long-term homing in our garden, so I haven't tried a birdhouse. You'll have to let us know if moving the house works...
Anonymous said…
That is too bad they don't stay and make it their home. I like it. I would want to move in. Maybe they think the other birds will consider them uppity.