A few years ago, we received a chickadee house as a gift. We didn't think much of it, and one year I stuck it up on the garage between the 2 doors, on a nail that just happened to be there.
The box said "Chickadee House" and it came with some pine shavings to put in the bottom. Well, lo and behold, about a few days later, who comes scoping out the house? Mr. and Mrs. Chickadee! How did they know it was designed for them? I'm still baffled. They flew back and forth between the house and a nearby tree, checking out the area. I mean how could they do any better? Low rent, free food from the two birdhouses we filled constantly, and no dogs! They signed the lease and moved in. A few weeks later came the tiny peeps of many hungry mouths, and then finally, one day, all was quiet. The birds had all flown away. I took the house apart that year and discovered the remnants of a snug little nest neatly woven deep down inside.
This year, same deal. Chickadees moved right in about a week after I hung the birdhouse at the beginning of April. And just this week, all of the chaos and peeping finally came to an end. I never got to see the baby birds leave the nest, but they are surely gone. No more Mom and Dad racing back and forth with dangly green grasshoppers in their beaks. They hardly ever took a break! We had also hung another decorative house (in the shape of a trailer!) very nearby, again, because there happened to be a nail in the right place. I doubted that we would get two families of birds, because of territorial reasons. I was right. The trailer remained empty. :( I mentioned to Jack that the family of birds had moved out, and he was sad.
Jack: (as we pulled in the driveway after school) Awwww, no more chickadees! They would always fly right over my head and were never scared not even once!
me: I guess the babies got big enough and flew away this week, and we missed the whole thing. (another reason to get a bird cam!!)
Jack: Oh! There's Daddy! Let me tell him the good news and the bad news!
Jack: Daddy Daddy, guess what, I have good news and bad news.
Jack: Okay, the bad news first. The bad news is that the chickadees flew away! The babies grew up! And the good news...there are twigs sticking out of the other birdhouse!
me: Gasp! Really? (I ran over to take a look. Sure enough, as soon as the chickadee family decided to move out, another bird couple started moving in to the trailer house!)
Jack: I'm glad we'll have another bird family living here. It makes me happy.
me: Me too. :)
Follow up note: I took down the chickadee house today (5/27) and look what it was stuffed with. Notice how different it is from the first house at the top from 2 years ago!