I have a black-capped chickadee that is still sitting on eggs roughly 4o days after the first egg was laid. I know she is still sitting on them because she flies out of the box every time I monitor it. I am curious if others have had similar experiences. I keep waiting for her to abandon this nest and move on, but she is not doing it. At times I am tempted to clear out the nest, but am hesitant to do that. When trying to decide whether to do less or more in these cases, I usually lean towards less.
I will try to post an update in the future. Comments on this situation would be appreciated.
Update May 27th 2010
I checked every couple of days and there was no change until today. There seemed to be new nesting material in the box today. I gently explored, but could not find any sign of the eggs. There was no egg fragments or old nesting material around the base of the pole.
I will just have to wait and see what happens next.
Update May 30th, 2010
This morning there was a bluebird sitting on top of the box and a grass cup consistent with a bluebird nest inside. I will chalk this up as a failed chickadee nesting attempt and if the bluebirds lay an egg, count that as a new nesting attempt by the bluebirds. I do not know why none of these eggs hatched. We have had a cool and wet spring, but when I say cool, I do not mean freezing. We have had much colder springs than this. I have had a few other nests with no eggs hatching, or very few eggs hatching. I will make posts if I can find the time.