Monday, April 5, 2010

Black-capped Chickadee and Downy Woodpeckers

On Friday, April 2nd, I was fortunate to view a pair of Black-capped Chickadees excavated a nest hole about 30' off the ground in a Swamp Maple. This tree, which is about 75' from the back deck, had the top snapped off and the top 3 feet of the tree is dead. The pair took turns removing bits of dead wood for about 15-20 mintues, until a pair of Downy Woodpeckers made an appearance.
A Black-capped Chickadee taking a "break" from nest hole excavation.

After dropping a bill full of saw dust, one chickadee looks on as it's mate works.
There was a squabble between the two pairs, and the chickadees moved on while the woodpeckers began working on the nest hole. An hour later work-site was vacant each time I checked, during the early part of the evening. Of course, I am not really sure which species began the "project" or who the "rightfull" owner is, though I recall seeing a Downy Woodpecker on that area of the tree during the past few weeks.
Saturday morning, 4/3, the chickadee pair was back and excavating more rotten wood from the nest hole, but after making breakfast a Downy Woodpecker was back and working away on the site. While subsiquently checking, over the course of the day, it seemed one of the downies was usually there, typically the male.
A male Downy Woodpecker working on the nest hole..
Easter morning, April 4th, the chickadees were back and at work during the late morning but again later in the day the Downy Woodpecker pair had returned and were back at work. I look forward to seeing who ends up winning out on the "occupancy permit".


Kim said...

Hey there Tom. I had witnessed some Black-capped Chickadees drilling a hole in a tree this weekend as well and it was very interesting to be able to observe.

Very cool you have some Downy's there competing for the spot as well. Regardless of who wins the war, it sounds as if you will be able to witness it all from your own back yard and you can't beat that!

Don said...

Do you have an idea when I might be able to see bluebirds at High Ridge? I was up there yesterday, but there wasn't any sign of activity.


Tony nile life said...

nice going through your blog. and seeing the birds etc in your area.

Tom Pirro said...

Don, I would think there should be a few bluebirds around High Risge by now. They seem to prefer the area near the old Hunter Saftey building, 1/2 in from the Overlook Road gate.