Nesting News

Nesting News Chickadee and Blossom

Here’s a re-post from this time last year, and the chickadees are equally busy this year.

Also, a reminder, if you haven’t read it already, don’t miss the gripping sequel to yesterday’s post: Flicker Saga Part Two

The Chickadee Edition

On your marks, get set, go.

As soon as the plum blossoms flower on our street it’s the signal for serious nesting building to start. From the biggest to the tiniest birds, the clock is ticking.

With great good luck, we have a pair of chickadees, including my special buddy, Braveheart (with the teardrop marking) building a nest in the ornamental plum tree by our house.

Cherry Blossom Chickadee

When I feel too busy, I just go out and watch these two working ceaselessly for a few minutes. Their level of dedication to the job at hand is pretty inspiring.

Busy Chickadee in Plum Tree

Phase One: expanding the existing small tree cavity. The original hole was clearly not spacious enough for their interior design ambitions, so remodelling was undertaken with zeal.

With those tiny beaks, you can imagine how many trips it took do the job. For about a week, the pair of them took turns flying in and out, hundreds of times a day, with their micro-loads of wood chips.


Even when they stopped for a break, you could see the sawdust stuck to their hardworking little faces.


I imagine it was a pretty dry and uncomfortable job, chewing and spitting out wood for days on end. The photo below catches one of our intrepid builders coughing up a bit of sawdust. I felt as if I should offer them each a very tiny beer, but I guess they made do with the water in the bird bath.

Chickadee Cough

It’s hard to say if they finally decided the space was big enough, or they just couldn’t stand any more digging …

Chickadee Looking Into Nest

… but one day efforts suddenly switched from digging to interior design.

Moss Collecting Chickadee

Chickadee with Plum Blossom Flower

Nothing like some fresh cut flowers to bring a new living space alive!

I’m not sure what’s going on in there now. I try not to spend too much time hanging around in case I attract unwanted predatory attention, but I’ll keep you posted on developments.

Nesting News Chickadee and Blossom





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8 thoughts on “Nesting News

  1. What a darling story you have told! I love the “tiny beer” consideration – I imagined it being about the height of a green pea. Looking forward to more of this nesting story.

    Thank you so much for the smile and chuckle.

    Diane Kolida

  2. Lovely photos, June! You have such an eye for the perfect shot. We too have chickadees building in a house up under the eaves. So fun to watch but whew! they are exhausting with their hard work. They successfully raised 5 little ones last year, hope yours will do the same.

  3. Hi June,

    Lové your chickadee news! If they are on the same schedule as my chickadees, they are likely sitting on eggs (about 12 days to hatching). Several days of n’est building in my bird box concluded with a monumental struggle with some feathers that were tricky to get through the hole. Then things settled down; now waiting for the eggs to hatch.

    Meanwhile, sounds like some progress in the astro-turf war! Sorry to have missed the open house but the current session of night school started last week, so off to work and early supper a little after 4 on school nights.

    Cheers, Sarah


  4. Pingback: Battle of the Nest | The Urban Nature Enthusiast

  5. June…
    Being a long-time chickadee collector, you must understand what a TREASURE this segment has been for me to read and save! I love these darling little birds – do you know we don’t even have them in our area??? All the more reason to be thrilled to find a very special story and WOW photos that should be in a major bird magazine for more to enjoy! Thank you for making my day – AGAIN!!
    Diane Spellman

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