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Is this unusual behavior?  I put up a chickadee nesting box at the end of last summer and it sat empty, of course, until this spring when it appears to have been used three times to date.  The first use, back in March, was by a pair of Black-capped Chickadees.  They seemed to build the nest and incubate for a couple of weeks.  I couldn't tell if they were feeding any chicks after that, but there was suddenly no activity for a few days.  Then a pair of Chestnut-backed Chickadees appeared, and there was activity all of April, including a good number of days of obvious feeding.  Unfortunately I missed seeing the little ones.  Again, no activity for a week or more, and now, beginning about May 3, it seems like there is another pair of Chestnut-backed ones using the nest.  One has been going into the box for about 10 seconds, then leaving.  I presume he is feeding his mate.  This makes three pairs using the same nest this spring.  I can't find any info about different Chickadees using the same nest in a season.1287125674_Black-cappedChickadee3.thumb.JPG.6081a7d0918e5f4312fbab7936875b78.JPG1394190352_Chestnet-backedChickadee1A.thumb.JPG.caac66a717f891862265320f8bddfc10.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

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I've had Carolina Wrens and Mourning Doves use the same nest repeatedly in a season, so it isn't surprising for chickadees to do the same.  The 'second' pair of Chestnuts may be the 'first' pair again.

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Tough for me to say but my experience with the songbirds in my own yard is that most of them will try for second and even third brood regardless of the success of the first.  They may not always revisit the same nest location, but even that doesn't always depend on the first brood's success.

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I know I'm late to this topic, but thought I would offer some insight.  First, Chickadees tend to only have one brood per year.  Timing would follow along the lines of:  6-7 eggs laying one per day until brood is complete.  Incubation is approximately 13 days until hatch, and then 16 days until fledge.  Adding that up you have a minimum of 6 days for egg laying + 13 days for incubation + 16 days until fledge = 35 days from first egg to fledge.  Any nest activity  you  saw in April would more than likely be the same nest activity you are seeing early May.

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