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Concord, NC, USA



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Protection by ‘The Great Chickadee’

We cut down a recently dead eucalyptus tree, planning to replace it with native plants that would support wild life, having read that eucalyptus supports zero species. To avoid having sections of the tree fall onto and damage plants underneath the tree which we valued, my husband cut off 2' sections and carefully handed them to me. I happened to look into the hollowed-out top section and found a tiny nest deep inside, with 4 small speckled white eggs. We set the section aside, mourning the loss of the nest (assuming the parents had fled) and finished cutting down the tree. A short time later I looked into the nest again and a chickadee was sitting anxiously on the nest. Over the course of the day we gradually moved the tree section with the nest to rest on the level top of an old tree stump and supported it with rocks to keep the base steady. Being concerned about the possibility of heavy rains drowning the nest, we secured a large black and white old broken umbrella (which looks very much like a 'Great Chickadee' head) a few feet above the nest. The parents loyally returned to the nest, tolerated and even seemed to appreciate our efforts, and have stayed snug and dry while raising their four nestlings, which should fledge in a couple of weeks.

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