Chickadee rearing

I have had a camera setup on a family of chickadees on my back deck that has been recording their every visit for the past few days.
Today I was thinking the babies might turn to fledglings because they have been flapping around and jumping at the opening of the bird house often sticking their heads out.
Well I went downstairs to check on them at 9am and was 4 minutes too late.
I caught on video a stellar’s jay attacking the nest and the babies fled the nest as it was attacking. I went to look around outside and the parents keep going to the birdhouse nest to feed the babies but I think they are flying around in the trees. The parents keep looking in the nest. Going in the nest and flying around the nest.
I think I see some young chickadees flying around the trees nearby but can’t tell if it’s them because they are high up.
Is it possible the parents don’t recognize their own children flying around? Or are just not expecting it yet?

This is fairly normal behavior for a day or two post-fledging.

If the chicks are old enough to be flying around, the parents are almost undoubtedly feeding them. It is normal for chicks to leave the nest slightly early when a predator comes and spooks them. The parents are well accustomed to the vocalizations of their young at this point.


I went out for the day and just checked the camera again. The camera doesn’t pick up every motion and somehow one of the chicks got back inside the birdhouse. The camera picked up the chick inside of the nest through the hole. I can tell from the yellow beak. The parents came a couple times with an insect in it’s mouth poking their head into the hole and eventually the insect disappeared so I’m thinking the chick is still in there but being quiet now.
Then somehow the chick seems to have left the house again without the camera seeing it.
Then the stellar’s jay came back and peaked into the nest again. :(

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Chicks do return to the nest sometimes. Now that the chicks are mobile, they are hopefully past the most vulnerable stage. But even jays have to eat. Is the jay able to get its whole head into the nest box? The ideal hole size for chickadees is 1-1/8 inch and a lot of generic nest boxes have 1-1/4 inch holes preferred by bluebirds. You could maybe swap out the box next year if the entrance is too large.

The hole is 1 3/8.
It’s possible this was a 5th chick that never fled.
It’s still in there and one of the parents comes to feed it once an hour now. They were feeding the 4 to 5 of the chicks every 2 to 5 minutes for the past few days.
This birdhouse was hanging on a tree for several years. We cut the tree down last fall and I set the birdhouse on my deck randomly and it just became occupied where I randomly set it 12 inches from my kitchen window. It has been fun and very enlightening watching this whole process. I’ll clean the bird house once they are done with it, put it in a better location on my deck that isn’t in my way and shrink the hole a little for next season.

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