At our campsite last week in Indian Creek Recreation Area, we experienced some unusual ornithological entertainment—at least unusual for us. When connecting our travel trailer’s electric power cord to the utility box, I noticed the post on which box was mounted had two holes in the top as seen in the above photo. I paid it no further attention until later when Donnette directed me to watch the top of the post for a while.
What she had noticed was a Carolina Chickadee repeatedly doing the same thing. Every five or ten minutes it would fly in from the trees and land on the top edge of the post, usually with something in its mouth.
Then it would hop down to the lower hole in the top of the post and enter it.
After a short time, the bird would exit from the upper hole and fly away.
We watched this behavior for several round trips, then decided to try a bit of crude “studio” photography. Donnette held a flashlight over the upper hole while I tried to capture the scene with my camera aimed into the lower hole. The resulting photo below shows that beneath the two holes is a cavity in which three chicks are visible.
This feeding behavior continued throughout the entire three days we were there. We have read that both Carolina Chickadee parents feed their young, so we may have been watching two birds, but seeing only one at a time. We were unable to determine if that was the case.
The location from which these photos were taken is shown on the map below. Zoom in for more detail.