Chickadees are cavity nesters. They carve their cavities out of dead trees starting in April. However, chickadees are selective when it comes to creating their nesting site. They tend to dig several cavities before deciding which one can be their ideal home.
I knew I have discovered one of their trial sites when I spotted a chickadee emerging from a cavity with a mouth full of chips. I had seen this once before, but it was not in a tree that was kept. If this one were kept, I might have the opportunity to see the chicks.
Both members of the mated pair worked on the nest, ferrying mouthfuls of chips out of the possible nest. Over and over, they repeated the exercise.
The chips were carried about three meters away and discarded. They did not want to reveal the nest site by showing a pile of sawdust.