An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Archive for April 3, 2010

Welcome to a photographic journey through the fields, woods, and marshes of New England

Here I’ll be sharing some photographs I’ve recently taken as well as some of my favorites from my forthcoming book Naturally Curious. I’ll be updating my blog periodically with new images, new stories, and more glimpses of New England in all seasons.

BLACK-CAPPED  CHICKADEES NEST BUILDING

It’s that time of year again – chickadees are searching for nesting sites in wood punky enough for them to excavate a hole.  Black-capped chickadees are cavity nesters, but lack bills built to hammer solid wood, like woodpeckers, so they are limited to nesting in snags and branches that have rotted to the point where the birds can just pry pieces from the inside of it to make a hole. Usually the entrance is on the side of the stump or snag, but occasionally, as is pictured here, it is at the top. Both male and female chickadees excavate the cavity, flicking mouthfuls of punky wood onto the ground as they work. The female builds the nest within the cavity by herself, often using moss and lining it with finer material, such as rabbit fur.