Friday, January 27, 2012

Chickadees and Catkins

Green (Mountain) Alder Catkins (Alnus viridis)-1.jpg
Black-capped Chickadee munching on Alder catkins

In August, the alder trees produce catkins. That's when the chickadees are really, really happy. They crawled over every stand of alder and ate till they burst. They were right-side up, upside down, hanging by one toe . . . anything to get at all the catkins.

Female Alder Catkins-2.jpg
Female alder catkins

We have green (or mountain) alders (Alnus viridis) here that grow in bushy groves. They like water. They have male and female catkins. The male catkins are long, dangly, soft and fuzzy. The female catkins look like tiny pinecones. Alder are food for so many birds and insects that I can't list them. Look around and see if you have any!


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