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Old May 18, 2009, 7:32 PM   #1
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Default Killer Chickadee

I went for a birding walk in a park near my work. This place holds a ton of chickadees most of which take advantage of the kindness of strangers who supply them with sunflower seeds. So here I am, walking happilly along when I spied one on this branch. But he didn't fly to me looking for a handout like they usually do in this park. No... this one was actually devouring a slug / caterpillar / worm? I mean it was going to town on this thing.

1. Pecking away as it holds it down with one leg.
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Old May 18, 2009, 7:37 PM   #2
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2. In this photo, "killer" is whipping the slug around back & forth - like a dog with a chew toy ...ewwww! Is it tenderizing the meat?
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Old May 18, 2009, 7:48 PM   #3
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3. After the whipping frenzy, "killer" settles down and begins to swallow bite-sized morsels of its victim. I guess I was naive to think that seed is the only source of food for chickadees. The thing is, I've been walking this park for 15 years and this was my first encounter of a carnivorous chickadee. My education continues ... Cheers, Dan
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Old May 18, 2009, 9:17 PM   #4
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Nice series, Dan... i think the whipping motion is to make sure the prey is dead, much as a kingfisher will beat its catch against a tree limb to make sure it doesn't squirm out of the bird's beak while it's eating. i haven't seen 'dees eating worms or caterpillars this size, but i do have shots of them with grubs they've caught on old dead cattail stalks...
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Old May 18, 2009, 11:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishguy View Post
3. The thing is, I've been walking this park for 15 years and this was my first encounter of a carnivorous chickadee. My education continues ... Cheers, Dan
Global warming? Thanks, Dan, I will never look at a Chickadee the same again! Robert
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Old May 19, 2009, 7:37 AM   #6
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Great series !!!
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Old May 19, 2009, 10:44 AM   #7
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Thanks guys. The experience was a real eye-opener. Regards, Dan
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