Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Why is Sawdust Falling from the Sky?

Jeff thought he saw some snowflakes falling from the sky the other day, but the 80 degree temperatures suggested otherwise.

Looking up, he was delighted to see a Chickadee spitting out sawdust from a tiny hole up in a snag.

He wasn't just spitting it out as he excavated the hole...

...but carrying it away, as well.

Surely this little birdy didn't start this hole. It was most likely started by a Downy Woodpecker, but this lil' fella thinks he's gonna finish it. I knew Chickadees liked to use cavities for their nests, but I didn't realize they did any excavating.

Carrying the sawdust away...

Back for more, he (or she) was working extremely quickly, always in constant movement.

I must say, that's a neat picture.

I think it looks like he's base jumping, stepping off the edge like that.

"Now, where should I sprinkle this sawdust, maybe on top of Jeff's head..."

"Hey! Whadda you lookin' at?"


  1. Another delightful series. I think the 4th picture is my favorite. How DO you capture those?

  2. If you look at photo #10, just to the bird's right, that's the spot where he/she rubs off the sawdust before heading back to the hole. **I never actually observed a saw being used**

  3. Thanks Ellen, We used a 400mm lens, a very sturdy tripod, and a quick trigger finger. It took about 50 pictures to get these 11 good ones.

  4. This is my first visit to your blog, just wanted to say great set of action pictures of the Chickadee.

    While I was reading it I noticed the Phyllis Diller quote it made me giggle - genius!


  5. Thanks! Chickadees are great subjects for photography, they're curious, bold, and certainly cute!

    I stumbled onto that quote by accident but I thought it was pretty appropriate for me, since I also dislike ironing but I'm quite fond of gin!