Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Black capped chickadees and their nests

I spend a lot of time wandering around in the woods and at this time of year I always have my eye out for nesting activity and for nesting sites.
Many people have asked me how to find bird nests and the truth is, we walk by bird nests all the time. It is good to leave the birds alone while nesting but that doesn't mean we can't keep a stealthy eye on them. Our overt attention to a bird nest can cause more harm than good, by the way, and can also alert predators to the location of the nest so please be discreet if you go nest hunting.

Look at the scene above. There is an active nest there. Can you see it?
Chickadees are nesting in this hole and may even have eggs there. We watched as one came and went with food in its mouth and saw both at one point as one left and the other stuck its head out, leading me to believe there may be eggs. If you look at the larger picture this is the little branch poking out in the middle of the picture. Chickadees tend to nest in holes that are quite small and also fairly close to the ground. If they see you watching them they will pretend they have no interest in that hole so you sort of have to watch them on the sly. I have developed a good sideways glance and suggest you do, too, if you want to watch a nest....

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