They set you up to think everything's going along smoothly in order to build the tension later. Mr. and Mrs. Nuthatch moved in and got the house in order and dribbled pine resin all over the front (is that a red herring, or does that figure in later?), and in short order they had eggs going and Mr. Nuthatch is bringing in flies and such for the Missus, which is why I call him Dave, even though I suspect that's not his real name.
After a few weeks, there were definite beebly-beebly sounds coming out of the box, and both Dave and the Missus were going in and out with fine selections from the Arthropod menu.
Then, one day, a little face poked out of the nest box hole! [Music swells.] And I WILL BE GO TO HELL IF IT ISN'T A LITTLE FUZZY NUTHATCH even though nothing ever came out of that thing but chickadees before. They're so SMART! Then the pace picks up. Dave and the Missus are hauling in bugs at what looks to be an unsustainable rate [sound of freight train picking up speed], pausing only to rout interlopers, most significantly a scrub jay that has been observed to repeatedly land right on the nest box [shark music], although he always slides off. Still: tension builds. The scrub jay is so big the nuthatches don't even try to chase it off, but sit nearby and beep at it furiously.
Then comes Sunday. A baby nuthatch is sticking its head further and further out the hole and even gets a foothold on it, but I'm onto this. I already know it's fake. Last year the chickadee babies had me holding my finger over the camera shutter all day long while I waited to see the first flight, but they kept doing that for, like, a week, and eventually I gave up and missed the whole thing.
[Urgent violin score fades out.]
Tune in next time for the exciting conclusion.