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.
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