Chickadee in the spider’s web

One day while kayaking with a friend, I saw something I never imagined to see. A Chestnut-backed Chickadee with its wind stuck in a spider’s web. There were actually many spiderwebs around, and several chickadees, but only one that I saw with its wing stuck in a web. I took some photographs from my kayak before beaching on the shore to try and free the poor thing, but it was a ways back in some very thick trees.

I searched for a way in, an approach, but before I could find one it finally freed itself. It was stuck there in the web for at least a few minutes however, straining against those gossamer strands.

The Chickadee with its wing stuck in the web


So much larger than the frail strands of the spider's web, yet it sits there trapped

Trying to pull away from the sticky strands

Looking to see what has it so firmly in its grasp, its view is blocked by its own wing

About Galen Leeds Photography

Nature and wildlife photographer, exploring the world on his feet and from his kayak. Among other genres, he is one of the leading kayak photographers in Northern California. To learn more about him, visit him on his website-
This entry was posted in birds, California, documentary, kayak photography, nature photography, photography, SLR, wildlife photography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Chickadee in the spider’s web

  1. sean lemert says:

    so, did the bird get out of its dilemma?

  2. Vicki says:

    I am SO glad the bird was able to free itself!

  3. Mattie Ivy says:

    There’s something magical about these shots, as if you had somehow stumbled through the willow thicket into a fairytale. You capture the impartiality of the natural world with this surreal juxtaposition of bird and spiderweb. Beautiful, Galen.

    • I must admit, it is one of the strangest things I have seen, a bird trapped in a spider’s web. It put me in mind of The Hobbit, when the dwarves get trussed up by the spiders and Bilbo has to rescue them. It did feel rather otherworldly and surreal to see it.

  4. cindydyer says:

    Wow—what a thing to come across! (And yes, I’m also glad it was able to free itself)…which begs the question…do you think a spider has ever tried to consume an entire bird? Hmmm….gotta go google that and see! ;-)

    Thanks for the comment on my Toad Lily posting. It led me to your blog and your work, which is amazing! I’ve subscribed to your blog and am forwarding the link to a friend who is both a photographer and an avid kayak guy (although he only totes his point-in-shoot most of the time).

    • Thanks for following and for sharing. I’ve been enjoying your images lately, and am sure that I will continue to enjoy them. You have some lovely flower images, something I myself have not photographed very extensively.

      I don’t think that spiders feed on birds locally, but I’ve heard in the past about some spiders in the Amazon that do feed on birds with regularity… I’m thinking they are a larger spider than most of the ones that live where I do. Again, thank you

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