Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum

Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum Ball

From my research the seed balls of the Sweet Gum (or Sweetgum, depending on where you read) tree should be empty of seeds by mid fall.

Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum
Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum Seed Pod

Clearly this tree didn’t follow the program and several Carolina Chickadees were feeding in its upper branches on this mid-January day.

Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum
Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum

The dried pod stems are still quite sturdy, although this little bird doesn’t weigh much at 0.3-0.4 ounces (8-12 g) per All About Birds.

Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum
Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum

If you’ve ever touched one of these balls you’ll likely remember; those spikes are quite sharp.

Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum
Carolina Chickadee on swinging Sweet Gum seed pod

Fellow blogger Mike Powell has captured similar scenes in Virginia where there is overlap in both the tree and the bird, including his post Acrobatic Chickadee

 

6 thoughts on “Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum Ball”

  1. Cool shots, Ellen. It’s wonderful to note that you are observing the same birds doing the same things as I am. Chickadees are pretty small and it is not easy to photograph them. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Mike. I thought that was interesting, too—I just measured the distance as about 500 miles to your favorite photography place, an amazing amount of similarity!
      I am working on another post that shows the Chickadee’s tiny prize for all this work. It’s no wonder they have to feed continuously.

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