Saturday, March 12, 2016

Carolina Chickadees are Spring Cleaning . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home."

A common bird of the Carolinas who is very friendly and can be tamed
 and hand fed. I've never managed to get one to eat out of my hand, but admit
 to standing in the back garden with it outstretched, full of birdseed, until my
 poor old shoulder ached! 
Our many Carolina chickadees do love hanging out on the front porch, also at
 feeders and birdbaths located in the back garden. Being non-migrators we can
 enjoy them year round in any type of weather.
Both the male and female, also the juveniles, are mostly grey birds
 with a black cap and chin, white face and chest, and darker grey tail. 
They are the smallest birds in our garden, but notice in these photos that they
 have sturdy looking legs and huge feet with which they can hold insects and
 seeds while pecking into them. 
Both male and female construct a nest then 5-7 very tiny eggs, white with
 reddish-brown markings are laid. They have 1-2 broods per year.

Despite not being officially Spring, I believe our chickadees are preparing
 a nest already. They have nested in this same box on the front porch for the
 past couple of years. 
Until this morning I thought they were bringing in building materials during the
 past few days, seeing the clump of soft bits stuffed in the entrance. . . . . . . however
 this morning it's obvious they are taking out debris from last year!

This is one of those decorative birdhouses, so cute, but unfortunately no
door to open which would allow us to clean out the old nest.
Such a huge job for a tiny bird who has only its stubby little beak as a
 Spring cleaning tool!

 I am definitely tempted to give a little assistance to these tiny birds - one swift
 pull and I could help with what appears to be a gigantic job for one or two tiny
 creatures - but we have decided not to interfere with Nature.

What would you do? Do you believe in just allowing them to clean their
house by themselves? 

A sweet, quite feisty little bird which is Bob's favorite - and of course I love them too!


  1. Great photos, how lucky you are to capture them so closely! I love your birdhouse too, so pretty. If it was me I'd leave well alone in case they become frightened of the change but I don't really know anything about chickadees. The most we get in the garden are blackbirds who are scared of anything! :) Enjoy your weekend Mary! xx

  2. Wonderful photos! I would let them do the work....though it would be tempting to help out.

  3. i think I'd let them do it. My houses refilling up with sparrows.

  4. What a lovely post, Mary. I really enjoyed this one and sharing a part of your Spring with you. Fantastic photos, to boot! Love coming here and learning more about you and where you currently live. :)

  5. Hi Mary - great post! Amazing photos - I have neither the skill nor the patience. So THAT's what a chickadee looks like; I always associate the label with WC Fields for some reason ("I went to Chickadee once and it was closed"). Or something! As for helping them out, I suggest leaving them to it: do they have anything else in their diaries?

  6. What industrious wee creatures they are. I'd be tempted to just let them do what they need to do. They seem to be managing.

  7. Oh my goodness, these photos are gorgeous. My favorite little bird, too. How amazing to capture the goings on of this busy little beauty. I guess, just like us, they like their own bedding. I am fascinated with her feet. It looks like she could do quite a bit of rippin' and tearin' with those. I, too, would just let her be to do her 'fluffin'. Deb

  8. Darling little creatures, Mary! I've never seen one until now and I have to compliment you on your beautiful photos. I agree with not interfering with nature. I also leaned my lesson trying to reach my hand in a birdhouse only to find a nest of bees! I was fine. In the fall I twist up the end of a hanger and clean the birdhouses out. We don't get residents over the winter so fall is okay to do it.

    Looking forward to more spring sitings and occurrences from you! :)


  9. Hi Mary. how fantastic you were able to catch on camera the re-make of the nest. After making mistakes, I've learnt my lesson not to help out, it's far better to leave nature to do it's own thing. I've noticed a lot of activity around our garden, but not managed to get any shots. Lucky you.

  10. Dear Mary, I think that the birds need to prepare their own nesting site. It probably triggers certain hormones so that they can be ready to be excellent parents. Just think of the fun you will have watching it all go on in the next few months.
    Beautiful photographs, as always.

  11. How wonderful to see your tidy birds doing their spring cleaning. I would just let them do their thing. I think we have a squirrel in our tree that is doing some spring cleaning too. After seeing your photos it definitely looks like the are pulling stuff out of their nest.

  12. Wow, what a gorgeous photo essay. You captured the spring cleaning efforts beautifully. I would be tempted to sit by the window all day and watch those birds and not get any of my housework done! I truly love the chickadees, but rarely see one because we don't have the right surroundings. I, too, would be tempted to assist them but I suppose the right thing to do is leave them to their own tasks. I am used to cleaning out my two bluebird houses which have doors that I can open. Dear, dear little birds and beautiful photos. Thank you once again.
    Farm Gal in VA

  13. I think it is incredible that they make house then remake it the next year adn you provide the home for them to do that and then we get to enjoy all the bird watching! those chickadees are wonderful. your photos are, again, perfect.

    As to your question: no bird house here but I would likely leave it for the birds to stay warm and busy. :)


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