Friday, April 19, 2019


    We have two species of resident chickadee here and once in a while we get a visitor. Our resident chickadees are the black-capped and boreal. The one we occasionally see is the mountain chickadee.

    Now chickadees are interesting little birds all year but in the breeding season the spectacle gets very interesting. The males call for female attention with a fee bee call. There's lots of competition especially if there are two or more males in the area. Usually the male has a nest site in the area and he wants to get a female to take a look at it and partner with him. There's lots of back and forth stuff for several weeks. I've seen a female appear and go off with a male and in a few minutes looks at the other males wares. How do I know this? Just keep the bird in sight.

    A pair will work on making a nest hole in a tree trunk or large branch. They are very good a finding a part of the tree which is rotten under the bark. 

   I watched this develop at my back step a few years ago. A pair of black-capped chickadees would work on a nest hole. They would disappear. Probably the female found some other male. Then  couple of red-breasted nuthatches would work on the project. Then a pair of boreal chickadees would show up for a few days. 

   It seemed that there were lots of  changes with the birds in trying to make the particular tree their nesting site. 

   Ten days ago I discovered chickadees working on making a hole in one of the trees in my yard. So far I've seen them chase off a nuthatch. Right now nobody seems to be working at the project.

    These energetic little guys get a lot done and provide lots of entertainment . I have a feeling that I'm not finished seeing the hole develop in the tree.

     They have a rather uneven entry
     I'll just have a peak around to see if the coast is clear
     In he or she goes for a turn at nest building.
     Second bird waiting for a turn at work
 Sometimes it's a struggle to enter the work area