Sunday, August 17, 2008

It's a Chickadee-dee-dee Day!!!

Thought I'd throw in an interim post between my Put-In Bay chapters! As fall draws nigh one of the things that I look forward to is the reappearance of the chickadees along with their little pals the tufted titmice and nuthatches as well as their big buds the blue jays. All of these birds are here all year but they seldom frequent my feeders except in late summer through into early spring. I don't know why this is except that maybe food is plentiful enough in the wild in the summer or they don't care for the migrants that are at the feeders in the summer:) Did you notice something unusual in that top picture? It took me a couple of frames of shooting to figure out whether this chap was one-legged or just favoring his right leg. I took a few more shots and figured out he was holding his right leg up in the air close to his chest. He flew off before I could tell if he was injured or had something stuck on his foot. He came back as I expected he would and I got a couple shots of him with the leg down. It is evident he had some kind of growth on the middle toe of his right foot. I don't know if it was caused by an injury but whatever it was it didn't stop him from being active and singing merrily away. These shots except for the last shot of the nuthatch were all taken today so I'll keep you posted on how "big toe" does throughout the fall.

Notice the "growth" with the nail sticking out below it.

The chickadees' posse!!


NCmountainwoman said...

Poor little chickadee. That growth looks serious.

Lovely pictures.

Toni said...

Michele, got your new lens hey.

Oh my maybe Sarah can identify the growth on that chickadee.

MicheleRF said...

Bad news! I sent a pic. of the chickadee to the USGS and one of their wildlife vets said the growth on his foot is most consistent with Avian Pox. I've had to stop feeding the birds because of the risk of infection to other birds. I have cleaned my feeders with a 5% soln. of bleach and am going to rehang them in a week or two, staying on the look out for this chickadee and other possible infected birds. If I see any I will likely take down my feeders until spring:(

Leedra said...

Good information to have. Thanks for sharing.

Mary said...


There is talk about Bluebirds having gout (affecting their feet) as a result of over eating suet dough. I wonder if you are feeding suet and the Chickadees are over-indulging?

Like you, I don't see Chickadees, Titmice, Cardinals, Wrens much during the hot summer months for two reasons. Large nasty invaders at the feeders, i.e. Grackles, Starling, Pigeons. I rarely filled the feeders this summer because of that. I also have House Sparrows for the first time this summer. I'm not happy.

Second reason, there are plenty of bugs for their diet to survive during warm months.

So, I look forward to fall and cooler temps to photograph my favorite birds again...

I'll be back to check on the Chickadees.

Avian Pox? You did good with disinfecting your feeders. Hopefully within a few weeks you can refill them :o)