Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Housing Tragedy

My husband spied the damage first.  The Titmouse house had been invaded overnight.

For several weeks now we have enjoyed watching the Tufted Titmouse couple fill one of our nesting boxes and take up residence.  Recently we have noticed one of them flying from the feeder to the door of the house with food.

Nesting material hangs out the door.  Part of the nest hangs outside the back door used for cleaning.

My husband found the back door on the ground below.  He did not find any eggs.

Several times that morning the Titmouse flew into and out of the destruction, apparently trying to determine if anything remained to be salvaged.  Around noon she stopped coming to the nesting box.  The pair apparently decided to build elsewhere.  Dang!  We had so looked forward to fledglings.

I'm blaming the flying squirrels.  Why?  Because they recently enlarged the opening of another nesting box and moved in.  I was sitting on the porch one evening at dusk when the house started swaying despite the absence of wind.  Imagine my surprise and disgust when I saw one of the little devils squeeze his body though the opening.  I had no intention of providing housing for those nasty critters.  And that's the house the chickadees usually use.

On a more upbeat note...the mountains around us are full of greenery now.  This weather which has been pretty rotten for us seems to be just perfect for the trees and grasses.

We finally gave in and turned the heat  on once more.  Hey, we are troopers but when the temperature is 60 degrees inside...


Elora said...

We, too, have gone back to fires in the woodstove in the living room. Were it not for a little toasting, the interior feels damp and cold. Moss is starting to grow on our backs; webs between toes are developing.

Sad about the birdhouse! Didn't know flying squirrels could be a problem that way. I've always thought they were "cute." I'll reconsider!!


Rudee said...

The heat is on here, too. Funny, that. I had the A/C on just a week ago.

George said...

I'm sorry to hear about the destruction of the titmouse nest. I'm glad we don't have any flying squirrels around us -- we have enough problems with regular squirrels.
We've had a fire in the fireplace the last three nights and will have another one tonight.

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

Here in south central Illinois, we had to turn our heat on here, too ... it got down into the 30's at night. And less than a week ago, we had the air conditioner running!

Karin said...

Wow,you've got the fireplace one and we're having lovely weather in the 70s. Further north the weather is so windy and dry, the town of Slave Lake has been horribly burned, being landlocked by two fires that joined forces.

So sorry about the damage to the bird nest - no fun!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Still running my a/c.
Sorry about the there any humane way to keep them out??
well, I am sure if there was, you would have already done that.
take care, Suz

carolina nana said...

We have a fire in one of our wood stoves again tonight. I hope spring finds her way back to our mountains soon.
That is so sad about the nest,sometimes nature is so cruel.
Maybe it's not to late for them to start another family.
I found a huge snake skin just outside my chicken lot tonight and now I'm very nervous for the chickens.
Blessings to you

Jayne said...

Awwww... pooo! Man, I know how I'd feel if I even had Titmice checking out ANY house. I hate that Carolyn. I had to recently put a metal "house mask" on my older bluebird house as something had gnawed the old plastic guard my dad had fabricated and made it larger for entry.

You can order them from for $5 and the squirrels can't chew them. Elaine and her family in Elijay, Ga have been making bird housing for years. Lovely people.

Anonymous said...

And what a cute house it is! I'll bet the little birds (is a pair of them titmice or titmouses?) were already looking into installing a satellite dish. So sad for them and for you! When I went on the garden tour I saw a birdhouse with a grotesquely enlarged opening and I wondered what could have done that.

We turned on the gas logs a couple of times this week because it was 66 inside. Didn't want to turn on the heat because we love sleeping in temps just above cryogenic state. :)

Anonymous said...

Sad news about the tufted titmouse nest. We don't have any nest boxes here. When we lived in Port Townsend, WA, we had boxes for chickadees, tree swallows and violet-green swallows. There were successes and tragedies every year.

We have the heat on here too. Hard to imagine we are only a few weeks away from SUMMER SOLSTICE. Weird weird weather.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments.

Elora - In reality the flying squirrels are cute and they are simply doing what nature taught them to do. But I miss my Titmice nest!

Rudee - I just hate switching back and forth. I want open windows and fresh air.

George - I'll bet Betsy wished for the weather so she could have some more fires in the fireplace.

Karin - The weather really is strange. Lots of wind all over the midwest.

Jayne - Thanks for the tip. I'll definitely check it out. I'm not sure how I will do the house the squirrels are currently living in but at least I can protect the others.

100 Thoughts of Love said...

Was in NC all this past week on vacation...although it was cold AND unfortunately rainy, we managed to work in a little outdoors time as well as a lot of outdoor fireplace time (covered room which helps)...Regardless it was beautiful as usual and I am already ready to return! and it was probably about 50 in the house, I too am a cryogenic state sleeper, lol, love that phrase merri!!

Janet said...

Heartbreaking news about the nests!

This is my favorite time of year for birdwatching. I haven't seen any flying squirrels, but I'll be watching - ready to chase them away with a big stick!

Dawn Fine said...

Wow, I didn't know the flying squirrels would do this...So sad.