Tag Archives: Sweet Gum

Hawk in Sweetgum Tree

I spotted this hawk while I was walking around the barnyard at Middleton Place. He was looking down at me, not much concerned by my presence.

Hawk in Sweetgum Tree
Hawk in Sweetgum Tree

I think this is a Red-shouldered Hawk, probably immature.  I moved along and a few minutes later I was alerted that he did, too, as the pigeons that perch on the barn roof took to the air in a frenzy.

Hawk in Sweetgum Tree
Hawk in Sweetgum Tree

October 19, 2021

Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum Ball, 2

Feeding on Sweet Gum seeds is a lot of work!

Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum Ball
Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum Ball

A lot of probing goes on and you can see some debris falling at the bottom of this next image.

Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum Ball
Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum Ball

The Chickadee’s foot grasps the ball between the spikes.

Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum Ball
Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum Ball

Check out the reward!

Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum Ball
Carolina Chickadee on Sweet Gum Ball

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