My little chickadees

A pair of chickadees has taken up residence in a knothole in the magnolia tree just outside our kitchen window. 

That hole in the tree didn’t always exist.  It was just a burled scar where a tree branch had been sawed off from the main limb.  Then one day a few years ago I noticed little pile of sawdust at the base of the tree.  I couldn’t figure out what was going on.  Carpenter ants?  Termites?  Looking out the kitchen window one day, I noticed a chickadee hard at work industriously digging out tiny bits of wood from inside the scarred ring and discarding them into the air with a sideways flick of its head.

Do chickadees return to the same nest year after year?

About a week ago I saw a one land on a branch outside the kitchen window, a piece of food in its beak.  It darted downward from branch to knothole, just as another chickadee inside the tree instantly popped into view.  In a millisecond food was exchanged from beak to beak; then the inside chickadee dropped down again, and the outside chickadee flew off.

The baby birds must be getting bigger, because I see both adults continually entering and leaving the knothole with food.

Here are a few minutes of video I was able to capture in the past week.  

About Katherine Wikoff

I am a college professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering, where I teach literature, film studies, political science, and communication. My blog is a space for playing with ideas about creativity, innovation, lifelong learning, and the nature of "insight."
This entry was posted in Natural world, Photos and video and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to My little chickadees

  1. Pingback: Leaving the nest | Katherine Wikoff

  2. Pingback: Holing up for winter | Katherine Wikoff

  3. Pingback: Magnolia blossoms (and aggressive sparrows) | Katherine Wikoff

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