Friday, January 30, 2009

…and for dessert, I’ll have the crabapples too!

After the Northern Cardinal (from a previous entry) left the crabapple tree, this little chickadee flew in for a taste.

If you look closely under his right foot, you can see evidence 
of the 17-year Cicadas that visited us early in the summer. 

In an article written by Matthew St. George, called Cicadas to emerge in Cincinnati are soon to make their music, we learn:
These bugs are offspring of the Brood XIV cicadas, which emerged in 1991, said Dan Balser, a specialist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry. Broods are groups of cicadas that emerge during the same year after the soil temperature reaches 65. "Each brood is known for a specific geographic region," Balser said. "The cicadas are on a 17-year life cycle and spread all over the eastern part of the United States." Cicadas don't bite people or carry diseases. They do, however, damage trees, especially young ones.

But our Chiggy doesn’t seem to care about 
the damage, he’s just enjoying the crabapple.

Unlike the cardinal, he is eating the pulp. Chickadees are quite the little scavengers and are not picky eaters at all in winter. In an interesting article written by By Nancy Bazilchuk called Resourceful Chickadees Triumph Over Winter, she writes:
Some researchers have found chickadees pecking the fat off a dead deer's body. They'll monopolize suet feeders, clean out your bird feeder, and strip hemlock cones. They feed on maple sap icicles -- the ones that form on the end of a snapped sugar maple twig in spring. The average chickadee needs to eat food that's comparable in energy value to 250 sunflower seeds a day.

…no wonder he’s not wasting the pulp!


Roy said...

Heh, heh! Chickadees are everywhere here, all year long. Yup, they'll eat just about anything. I love watching them search tree bark for bugs like a Woodpecker. Good series of captures on this little guy.

Kallen305 said...

Once again, great photos. The chickadees are so resourceful that they are my favorite common back yard bird. It doesnt' matter what kind of mood I am in, once I see a chickadee at my feeders or even in the wild, I smile.

Kelly said...

Thanks, Roy and Kallen! Chickadees are also my favorite bird. It doesn't matter where I am, when I hear that call, I freeze, listen for a bit, and feel joy. It's that simple! Plus, they are just so darn cute!