another gorgeous day in centennial woods

3/22/2019; 11:30-5:30pm; 60ºF w/ slight wind and sunny; Centennial Woods Natural Area; protected forest with wetlands, fields, and marsh areas

The last species that I saw today was a pair of Black-capped Chickadees that appeared to have nested in this snag near the northwestern part of Centennial Woods. I didn't realize the cavity in the tree until I started calling the pair with the Audubon app and after they both flew away–I saw one of them dive down and go in headfirst into the hole. I did my best to be able to get up and look down, and listened closely–I didn't tread any close to the snag out of fear that I would possibly scare the duo off–however, I wasn't able to see if there was a nest or any nestlings in there. There was a possibility due to my observation that the parents didn't fly off immediately when I initially approached.
I did some Google searching and confirmed my suspicion that a cavity such as the one I found would provide a perfect house to raise young chickadees. It's out of way of foot traffic, close to a water source, and the environment is wide open to check for predators; but at the same time provided enough cover if something should happen. Another thing I noticed in behavior was the curiosity of one the chickadees that has not happened before. When I called them, one individual came flying out the trees, landing no more than 5 feet on a branch to look at me. Now from what I've experienced with chickadees, is that they like to watch you, but at a distance, never this close. Perhaps it was because I was close to his/her possible nest and I was using a call of another chickadee (they might see this as a rival chickadee).
This behavior differs from, say a Canada goose mother, who lays here eggs near a water's edge. There is one mother on Redstone who nested on an island in the runoff pool between the apartments and main dorms. Mostly an aquatic habitat, she surrounded herself with tall reeds in an area that is very accessible to predators from the air, but not from land(unless they can swim), and can see much of what's around.

Last journal, but definitely not the last outing.

Till next time....

Posted by aromano17 aromano17, April 23, 2019 04:02

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