Showing posts with label Chickadee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chickadee. Show all posts

Saturday, April 20, 2019


Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Chickadee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Chickadee is a familiar and welcome visitor to most backyards in the United States. Varieties of this bird are found across the entire US. A member of the titmouse family, there are five variations in the US. Mexican, Chestnut Backed, and Mountain Chickadees reside in the western states. The Black Capped and Carolina Chickadees cover most of the US from New Jersey to Kansas and south from Texas to Florida. I mention these two together because they are so similar, even at close range, they are hard to distinguish. It would appear they have a hard time themselves as Black Capped and Carolina Chickadees have been known to breed with each other in areas where they overlap.

This active friendly bird will visit almost any backyard birding area and become a year-round resident. After becoming regulars at your feeders during spring and summer, most will winter in the same area they had their summer nests, provided the weather doesn't turn too harsh. Even then, they will migrate only a short distance and return when it warms. For year-round backyard birding, the chickadee is hard to beat. These birds have a cheerful call and song and provide hours of entertainment checking the trees and shrubs for insects.

Insects are the food of choice for the Chickadee. They eat live insects, eggs, and larvae while hopping or hanging, even upside down, in trees and shrubs. They sometimes make quick short flights and catch insects on the fly. They also enjoy berries, fleshy fruits, suet, acorns, and seeds. This friendly bird is a regular at our tube and platform bird feeders. We see them taking one sunflower seed at a time from our bird feeder and flying a short distance to open it. They enjoy our blueberry bushes, pine cones, and muscadines as well.

Chickadees can be trained to eat from your hand. It will take patience and consistent offerings, but these birds will slowly begin to come to you. This occurs more often in colder weather when the food supply is more scarce. This chickadee enjoys a variety of foods and can be enticed with various offerings until you find the one which works for you. Try various nuts, seeds, or fruits at about the same time each day. The inquisitive chickadee will get closer and closer until you find them eating from your hand!

Chickadees nest naturally in hollow trees or old woodpecker sites. They can be attracted to man-made birdhouses. Obtain a birdhouse made for them and place it in a pine, elm, aspen or birch tree. We have them nesting in houses attached to our wood fence. Just be sure you have a sturdy house, rough sawn for the bird to cling to and protect them with predator guards at the entrance. A chickadee house should come with tree shavings. While not used for the nest, it looks at this as proof this is a proper nesting site.

This bird is easily attracted and a favorite of many backyard bird watchers. Offering several varieties of food will keep these visitors happy. Provide sheltering shrubbery, water, and natural or man-made birdhouse nesting sites and you will have an entertaining songbird dancing, singing, and performing upside down acrobatics for years to come. If you are fortunate enough, the Chickadee will reward you with eating from your hand.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Black-capped Chickadee is a very small bird with a large head. He has a busy habit of darting everywhere. Sometimes it appears to not know what direction to go. But this behavior seems to help it to catch insects while in flight.

The Black-capped Chickadee is the state bird o...
The Black-capped Chickadee is the state bird of Massachusetts.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It does not mind company when it flies. In fact, the Black-capped Chickadee prefers flying with a flock of any number and kinds of other birds. This may be for the company and also for protection. They prefer forests, woodlots, backyards, and shrubby areas in the West. They are usually found in deciduous type trees.

With your binoculars take some time and look for general markings and characteristics, things that you might notice right off. Do not spend a lot of time trying to memorize different aspects of the Black-capped Chickadee. Just look for general information and then you will be able to quickly recognize what group these birds belong to by noticing the size, general shape, colors and their behavior.

I suggest that you keep a notebook of these characteristics. You can add to it from time to time. This will help you understand and learn. But be patient and note things only one at a time. Otherwise, you may get tired and discouraged because you can't remember everything at once. It will all come in time as you watch these birds. Also, take a look at the field marks such as a wingbar and eyering markings to tie some IDs down.

Please remember also to note what time of year you see them as well as other kinds of birds you see in your neighborhood. Then you will be able to keep track of them better next year when the return.

A good field book on birds will help, but do not try to memorize everything in it all at once. Just learn about your specific bird of interest.

Black-capped Chickadee

Size & Shape
A real tiny bird with large head, plump, almost fat body, narrow tail, and a very short bill
Color Pattern
It has a beautiful shiny black cap and throat against white cheeks. Puffy sides; wings and back of soft gray coloring
Very busy, with acrobatic flight, and often with feeding flocks of several species
Likes forests, woodlots, backyards, and shrubby areas; in the West, associated with deciduous trees

Birding is a great sport, especially watching Black-capped Chickadees. Their antics and activities will keep you busy for hours. With some enjoyable work in preparation by learning a few basics about them and with a good pair of bird watching binoculars, you can have many hours of pleasure with your family or by yourself.

    By Roger L Johnson
    Roger Johnson has loved watching birds, animals and great scenery with binoculars and telescopes for years. - Article Source: EzineArticles