Male Chickadee feeding FemaleBlack-capped Chickadees are often thought of as winter feeder birds and are well liked and recognized by everyone.  I was delighted to find this nest sight, with tolerant parents, only three feet above the ground making it very accessible for photography.

This little dynamo is a cavity nester and actually likes to excavate it’s own nest.  The female will tend to most of the nest duties while the male brings her food.  A quiet  “hey sweetie” is called by the male a short distance from the cavity as he approaches with an insect. With this call the female will pop her head up to the hole or with every 3-4 feedings will come out of the nest and fly to a nearby perch to be fed.  One or the other of the birds is always close, keeping an eye out for danger. Danger which can be in the form of a local House Wren who may try to enter the cavity and destroy the eggs.

The female will stay close to the nestlings early on but then will assist with feeding duties.  At times, the male would seem to get inpatient with the female when she would not exit and allow delivery of his bug to the little ones.  He would sit on a nearby branch and flutter his wings trying to lure her out.  It eventually worked.  I found myself smiling often as I watched these energetic birds raise their young!

Chickadee_with_bug

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