-- videos at the bottom of this page --
2 May 2020 - went to a nearby creek, and there were many blackbirds calling and flying and perching. Mostly we could see the males, but a few times we heard and saw a female. This is a female, and below a male. (Slightly blurry photos are stills from videos)
In our backyard, two house wrens did their terrible deed.
To our delight, for the first time since 2015, a chickadee prepared a nest box for raising a family. On top of many layers of moss, fur was placed. (25 April 2020)
By the 28th of April, there were six tiny eggs.
2 May: mother chickadee has been moving the eggs around to ensure equal heat distribution when she sits on them.
Then, the morning of the 3rd of May, we heard the distinctive loud call of a house wren. Would it do the terrible thing, and take over the nest box?
Yes. It removed and destroyed the six chickadee eggs.
Then the tiny bird began to bring in its own signature nesting material: twigs.
Male house wren looking out of a chickadee's nestbox.
The male made many loud calls, and as it showed off what a good job of nest preparation it was doing, it did displays like spreading out its wings.
It didn't empty out all the nesting material, but did grab mouthfuls of what the hardworking chickadee had brought in, and tossed the mouthfuls out of the nestbox opening.
Sometimes it took the mouthful and landed on a nearby stake, and then tossed the nesting material into the air, as seen in the two photos below.
Then came the twigs. The male made displays, called loudly, and brought in twigs. The female made quieter calls, didn't flap its wings, and also brought in twigs. He's at bottom right.
Now comes the really terrible part: The two house wrens abandoned the nestbox. Their calls can be heard in adjoining yards. So, after destroying six chickadee eggs, they didn't lay their own eggs.
Meanwhile, higher up, in a larger nestbox with a larger opening intended for a woodpecker, starlings brought nesting material.
16 May 2020
You can view a whole bunch of videos uploaded, mostly about birds, at
These are the recently uploaded videos. A few are viewable here.
4 May 2020 - House wren activity at a nest box
3 May 2020 - House wren removes some of the nesting material from a chickadee nest box
4 May 2020 - House wrens bring twigs to a nest box
3 May 2020 - House wren, in and out of a nest box(not viewable on this page; viewable on YouTube site)
3 May 2020 - House wren cleans out a chickadee's nest
15 May 2020 - Starlings in and out of nest box (not viewable on this page; viewable on YouTube site)
15 May 2020 - Starling in and out of nest box; its coolest call
14 May 2020 - Starling on branch preens, makes variety of calls
14 May 2020 - Starling on a branch, preening and making various calls (viewable on YouTube site)
May 2020 - Starling makes variety of different calls (viewable on YouTube site)
May 2020 - Starling brings nest material, make calls, preen
May 2020 - Starlings at a nestbox (viewable on YouTube site)
May 2020 - Starling preening and sounds, slowed down 2x (viewable on YouTube site)
May 2020 - Starlings in and out of a nestbox (viewable on YouTube site)
May 2020 - Catbird takes a bath (no sound)
May 2020 - Redwing blackbirds - male and female calls
May 2020 - Redwing blackbird near water (viewable on YouTube site)
May 2020 - Redwing blackbird "chip" sound (viewable on YouTube site)
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