With the flexibility of the nest, the small side opening, and the fact that the nest is already occupied, you can only safely watch from the outside. If the parents are just starting the nesting process, too much activity near the nest may cause the parents to abandon the nest and start another one elsewhere.
That being said, you could set up a motion-activated camera within a few feet, and catch the comings and goings of parents. Both parents will sleep inside with the nestlings, which is unusual and when the nestlings fledge, the nightly returnings of them (an unusual pattern--most birds once they fledge do NOT go back to the nest because of the hazards of predation).
Most nests should not be observed too closely, as it adds extra stress to the parents, and can cause the feedings to be disrupted until the perceived danger is gone. If the nest site is deemed safe, Bushtits have been known to use that same nest again for a second brood.
Small children might do better to see pictures, observe through a window, or be held quietly for short periods of time.
You are so lucky to have Bushtits nesting near your house. I have a pair that I know nest nearby (as judged by the seasonal regular feeding habit of single/double bushtits), but I have not been able to find their nest yet.
Hope that helps,
Christine Southwick N Seattle/Shoreline <clsouthwick...>
On Thu, 20 Apr 2017, Joshua Rosenau wrote:
> Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2017 12:20:16 -0700 > From: Joshua Rosenau <josh.rosenau...> > To: <tweeters...> > Subject: [Tweeters] Bushtit nest > > Hi all, > > I’ve been watching bushtits tend a nest by my back porch for a while, and would love any suggestions you all have for doing more to monitor events inside the nest, and for helping my kids (5 and 2) appreciate what’s happening there. Obviously I don’t want to disturb the parents or eggs/hatchlings, and given the shape of the nest, it’s hard to see inside without getting really close. > > Happy to stick with our “leave it be” approach, but curious if there’s any noninvasive option for keeping closer tabs on what’s happening in that pouch. > > Thanks, > Josh_______________________________________________ > Tweeters mailing list > <Tweeters...> > http://mailman1.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters