This is the nest of the new tenant on our property that I discovered, by my ignorant mistake, while walking among our ancient red cedar trees.   I noticed cedar bark and dry branch and forest debris tucked under a loose strip of cedar still attached to the tree bark.  Not knowing but curious to find out what it was, I stripped out the long branches and other forest debris from under the bark.

There woven and attached to the debris was the form of a very small nest made from fine strands of cedar bark.   The strands were so tightly and finely woven together it was almost thick enough to hold water.

Not knowing it was a newly constructed bird’s nest, I brought it into the house to paint; I have been painting a series of abandoned birds’ nests found on our property.


Scan (1)

I finished the painting after several days of meticulously putting in the details.  Observing the painting, you’ll see the fine threads of stripped cedar bark.


Each morning, I pass the same tree next to the trail for my daily walk.   Then, looking over at the tree, I noticed a new clump of forest debris hanging from under the same large strip of cedar bark.   Going nearer to the spot to check it out, I was surprised to see that the bird was building another new nest!   Peering through a small opening in the nest, I noticed a very small bird moving around inside!! How pleased I was that this determined little bird was not giving up on a chance to give its gift to our earth!

The Chestnut backed Chickadee might look frail and intimidated due to its size….no such thing!   It has determination, courage, strength and hope.


11 thoughts on “Persistent Little Chestnut Backed Chickadee

  1. Not ever seeing the Blue Wren in my area, I searched the Cornell Ornithology website to find photos of it. It’s a beautiful bird with vibrant color of blues. What a thrill to identify its nest and good that it protects it from danger rather than fleeing. Thank you, Chas, for visiting my blog.

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  2. So lovely to read this post and see the detailed sketch of the nest. We have fierce little blue wrens here and I daren’t touch their nesting bushes as they will give a fierce ‘ticking off’ despite their tiny size.

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  3. I am fairly sure it is a Chickadee nest since it quickly flew out of the nest but I was able to notice the markings. Slow walks through your surrounding forest you’ll find all sorts of evidence where animals have been. My neighbor can identify an owl pellet containing the small bones of a bird hidden deep in the underbrush. The only one I ever found was full of small mice bones.

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  4. Thanks for sharing your lovely sketch and painting of chestnut-backed chickadees, Lois. The details are exquisite. Sorry to hear the chickadees had to rebuild their nest, but glad they found the energy to do so. Chickadees are wonderfully bold and brave and curious and social and energetic. Very interesting to see your sketch of the nest set-up on a cedar tree. I’ll have to keep an eye out for such a nest next time I’m in a forest with red cedars.

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  5. I would not have known what this was, either. Your painting of the nest is so intricate! …and thank you for including the sketch of what it looked like poking out from under the cedar bark. I learn so much from your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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