Birding close to home


A pair of Black-Capped Chickadees has been busy making a nest in the tiny cavity of this tree.  They’ve been working hard at it.  They were excavating the cavity–one would go in, emerge with a wood chip, and fly away.  Then the other would do the same.  This phase of nest-building can take a week to 10 days.  After that, only the female will begin building the nest inside the cavity, which could take up to another 2 weeks to finish.  So it could be a while before there are eggs in the nest.  I offer nesting material in my yard to the birds in the spring–maybe she’ll find my stash and use it for her nest.


Yesterday, after watching the Chickadees for a few minutes, I took a walk in the woods.  I found an area where an owl or a hawk had recently enjoyed a tasty songbird.  I snapped a picture of the pellets left behind.  Is there a way to look at pellets and tell what kind of bird they are from?  I have no idea.


There were so many Dark-Eyed Juncos out yesterday.  It seems like they should be leaving soon.



The chipmunks are definitely awake and they are hungry!  This little guy just stuffed his cheeks over and over again yesterday.  The chipmunks are destroying my yard–their little tunnels have made walking in some areas feel like you are walking of a layer of air trapped under the ground.  But they are so adorable to watch.



The birds were busy at my feeders yesterday.  A pair of cardinals hung around for a bit, and the Carolina Wrens were going crazy eating the dried mealworms I put out.



The wildlife is clearly busy with all their springtime chores.  Maybe I should take a hint from them and do some spring cleaning of my own.  Or maybe not 🙂


This entry was posted in American Sparrows, Cardinal, Chickadees and Titmice, Chipmunks, Wrens. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Birding close to home

  1. John Blair says:

    I enjoyed your photos, Carol and learned something new – that Chickadees nest in tree cavities. Neat and thank you 🙂

  2. Crooked Tracks says:

    Once we watched a chickadee dig out a cavity in a tree, it was amazing 🙂

  3. Because there are several, it could be an owl that uses the same spot to rest during the day. If they find a good secure location, they will come back to it over and over. Some owls are so well camouflaged that the pellets are the only indication a owl was present.

    If you are willing to inspect a pellet, take one home and microwave it a little to kill bacteria. I do not know the length of time, so just do a search. I do not know of a way to tell a specific species other than guessing based on size, but you can tell if it is an owl rather than a hawk or falcon. Owls cannot break down bones very well, so if there are a lot of bones, you know it would be an owl. Little to no bone would be a hawk or falcon. We had a couple of pellets from last spring when they roosted near the house. They were completely fur, so we knew they ate rodents.

  4. One year we saw chickadees nesting in a tree right beside the Magee Marsh boardwalk at the Biggest Week in American Birding. They went about their business with thousands of people walking right past them. I’m always amazed at how tolerant birds can be of human activity.

    I put dried mealworms out a couple days ago too. The titmice seem to love them. I wish we’d get wrens nesting here — that would be so awesome.

  5. I’ve noticed the Titmice eat the dried mealworms also, but it’s hard for them to get a turn with the Carolina Wrens in there all the time! I’ve never been to Magee Marsh–but I keep hearing about it. Maybe I should try to make it there this spring.

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