Though the Chestnut-backed Chickadees fledged from our patio bird house on Monday, for the past 2-3 days at least one has returned to with a parent. We have seen as many as two, and this morning three, come into the patio, popping around amongst the flowers and their home Japanese maple tree. This morning one of the fledglings splashed around in the bird bath and the adult didn't know quite what to do. It finally jumped in and splashed a bit, too.
Just a few minutes ago I threw some more meal worms out. The adult chickadees have never seemed to catch on, the CA Towhees get them all. Suddenly the chickadees were back and we realized that this time we had four with their yellow gapes and there was only one adult. The fledglings also have fairly bright blue legs and feet. That was interesting to learn.
We were hoping the adult chickadee would see the towhee getting the worms, but it never did. We wondered if the fledgling chickadees saw the adult towhee fly off with a beak-full of meal worms and couldn't figure out why they didn't eat them, too.
Hugh B. Harvey