Springtime Intensity

Black-capped Chickadee

With breeding season approaching, a
Black-capped Chickadee creates a nest hole in a snag.

Spring has finally arrived. In the Pacific Northwest, this means at least one warm sunny day, plus who knows how many chilly overcast days.

Today the weather was warm enough to venture out for photos of a female Red-shafted Flicker we saw from our car yesterday. She had been excavating a nesting cavity in a snag located in a small wooded wetland a mile from our home.

Wilson's Snipe

The extra-long bill on this Wilson's Snipe helps it forage along muddy shorelines.

The Flicker wasn’t there when I arrived, but I was pleased to see a Black-capped Chickadee hard at work creating a nest hole in another snag nearby. It would emerge from the hole with a wood chip in its beak, and would fly off to deposit the chip far from the nest. Perhaps it did not want to create pile of chips below the nest, which might have tipped off predators.

After distracting myself with a Song Sparrow who thought he was Pavarotti, I noticed the Flicker was back. The female lacks some of the brilliant crimson head markings of the male, but is lovely in her own right.

I’m eager to see if these nests are successful. If they are, there’ll soon be some new baby-bird photos among my Nature Card offerings.

Be sure to click these images for larger versions.


Song Sparrow

This Song Sparrow sang most of the time I was there.



Red-shafted Flicker

A Female Red-shafted Flicker wondering whether to stay or flee.
It decided to stay and continue work on its nest.



Red-shafter Flicker

Carving out a nest cavity. I'll be
checking regularly to see what develops.


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