Jim Williams has been watching birds and writing about their antics since before "Gilligan's Island" went into reruns. Join him for his unique insights, his everyday adventures and an open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond.

Chickadee nesting in archery target

Posted by: Jim Williams under Birds in the backyard Updated: May 5, 2012 - 1:34 PM

 Chickadees are cavity nesters. Lacking the larger, stronger bills of woodpeckers, they either use a pre-existing cavity or excavate in material soft enough for them to remove. This is a foam archery target in the shape of a deer. My grandchildren use it for archery practice. It once had antlers. In one of holes that once held an antler, a pair of chickadees have made a nest. Their excavation is so deep that the nest cannot be seen. The birds picked foam from the hole for several days, and now presumably are incubating eggs. The foam is a perfect cavity material for them: it's soft, it holds its shape well, and its insulation qualities can't be beat. Chickadees are opportunists. Target practice, by the way, obviously has been put on hold.

 

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