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larose forest photos | all galleries >> WILDLIFE (18 Galleries) >> Birds around the Ottawa Valley (10 sub-galleries) >> Black-capped Chickadees > Black-capped chickadee excavating nest site
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Black-capped chickadee excavating nest site
05-APR-2010 Christine Hanrahan

Black-capped chickadee excavating nest site

Chickadees are cavity nesters, and if they can't find a suitable hole (cavity) in a tree, they will use a nest box. This chickadee, one of a pair at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, is coming out of a standing dead birch tree, actually a broken off snag about 15 feet tall. The wood is very soft and as you can see, a beak full of it is being taken out. The chickadees made multiple visits over several days, excavating this hole. Every few minutes one or the other would fly out carrying a load of debris. Can you imagine the work this takes! Sadly, these dead birch trees are so weak that a puff of wind will blow them down. This is a poor shot, but I thought it interesting enough to post for now.

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS
1/400s f/5.7 at 100.0mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium original
reflectionsofnature04-Nov-2010 01:44
This brings back great memories of spring! I've seen them do this a number of times over the years, but, sadly, a number of the holes I've seen them excavate were in dead wood that ended up falling, maybe because the excavation of the hole weakened it?
Graeme03-Nov-2010 18:34
An excellent shot & timing Christine.BV
Linda Johansson03-Nov-2010 18:25
Great shot! Are they built for winter? V
Patricia Kay03-Nov-2010 15:04
Its a lovely shot of this busy homemaker Christine...such pretty birds that we dont have here...BV
laine03-Nov-2010 14:05
How cute it looks...they are such dedicated nest builders!!
Guest 03-Nov-2010 12:57
Great shot !!!! Nothing poor about it
Stephanie03-Nov-2010 09:28
This is a wonderful shot!!! I'm loving the image as well as the information Christine!!! BV
We have tons of chickadees living in our yard throughout the year. They do occupy a couple of our bluebird boxes during the spring. Their babies are no bigger than a minute ~ and just as cute as can be! :)
slhoornstra03-Nov-2010 03:51
Very interesting, in fact!! Reminds me of people moving house:):):) V
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