Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chickadees Fledge and I'm There With a Camera

Second in a trilogy of bird posts.  The chickadees were back for the third year in a row, making a home for new babies in a now rather-worn decorative birdhouse.  As before, I could hear the tiny dee-dee-dee sounds from inside the house when the parents arrived with food.  I knew it was getting close to fledge time when the parents were so busy rushing to and fro to bring food, they didn't notice me at all.  And then on the afternoon of June 4, I saw little chickadee faces leaning out from the birdhouse opening.  I ran inside for my camera to get the cute shots, and boy was I glad I did.

Suddenly a baby leaped from the house and flew right over my head.  I turned to see it land safely in the pine tree behind me.  It didn't realize until later that I had actually snapped the moment it exited the house.
And I was surprised to see that the baby left the house clinging to the parents' back.  The picture is blurry, but cropped for a closer view, you can see the baby and parent.  They must have separated immediately as the baby landed alone in the pine tree and the parent flitted nearby for a bit and then to the birdhouse.
Another baby was leaning out and the parents seemed anxious now by my presence.  So I went inside and allowed the remaining fledging to take place without my witness.  By next morning the bird house was quiet and empty.  They stayed away from the feeders for about a week, but now the whole family has returned and I again hear the chicka-dee-dee-dee calls in the trees.

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