Too darn cold for some nesting

I checked all our swallow boxes on Saturday and discovered two very interesting things. One, all off the boxes on our trail have a nest inside them. Two, all the swallows are gone! I think a couple of things are happening. It's been so cold that there aren't substantial insects out at the moment so the swallows have either gone to bodies of water looking for insects or have just backtracked south. I think that since some swallows left, others who stayed behind tried to take advantage of the situation by taking over territories not occupied by the original pairs and setting up nests in empty boxes.

The weather is supposed to warm up tomorrow, so it will be interesting to see what happens Saturday in the swallow boxes. I bet there will be some heavy duty territory battles.

The chickadees are still adding nest material to the hole in the wall and the hooded merganser is incubating away. The house finches are flourishing:

Isn't that a lovely ring of poo surrounding the nest? All five eggs appear to have hatched and survived this cold weather. The male has been bringing lots of food and the female has been brooding them quiet a bit to keep them warm. Although now that they young are fully feathered, they should be able to keep warm on their own. They should fledge Tuesday or Wednesday. I hope Wednesday, it should be warmer.