Sunday, April 23, 2023

Are you SURE you want to nest there?

A year and a half ago, Don did a tremendous amount of deck repair around the house, including removing a wide section that was literally rotting through.

As a result, we have some freestanding posts that, eventually, we'll get around to removing (they're in the middle-right of the photo below). But for the moment, they're doing no harm and aren't in the way.

One of these posts has a rotted top.

This has apparently caught the attention of a pair of black-capped chickadees. They've been diligently excavating it, presumably in anticipation of nesting in it.

One or the other bird will land on the edge of the post, then dive inside. It emerges a few seconds later with a beak full of rotten wood debris.

It then flies off to dump its load...

...while its mate swoops in right behind it to duplicate the process.

Back and forth, back and forth, busy as beavers.

Personally we think it's not the best spot for a nest since I would guess the pocket would fill with water, but I suppose the birds know what they're doing. 

I don't know if they'll complete the nest – I haven't seen them at all today, perhaps because it's been rainy – but it's been fun to watch how industrious they are.


  1. I have Robin's every year try to build a nest up on my security light next to my back door. I knock it down as I do not want them to be electrocuted and I do not want to get pecked in the head every time I open the door. Usually they figure it out and build the nest in the tree next to the door area. So no birds are not that bright lol.

  2. I think new young animals often make some bad choices when they first start families. From the picture, looks like their plan is doomed, if that is their plan. Are you sure there are no insects in that rotten wood ?
    I have a circular tent like piece of tin that used to top an old stovepipe. It would be great bracketed over the post some way, and I would probably do it. The worst thing that could happen is they'd try a better place.
    A friend used to have posts like those with her birdhouses on top in her side yard.

  3. My clothes line is supported with 4" steel pipes with angle iron bolted on top for the "T". Within a year of putting it up (in 2000) a pair of black cap chickadees started nesting in it and have every year since. The latest chicks fledged just fledged a few weeks ago.

  4. i have repeat nests in my grape vines, plum tree, cherry tree, blackberry patch, propane tank, and tool shed.
    6 different places, 6 different species. the only one that is a problem is the cardinals in the blackberrys. they are mean, the rest i just work around. they figure out pretty quick i am not a threat and don't panic when i'm around. but the cardinals are in my face every time until the young ones fledge.

  5. Did they build their nest there, or somewhere else?

    1. Somewhere else. Shortly after these photos were taken, they abandoned the spot.

      - Patrice