Curious and Cute: All About Chickadees

Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Chickadees are a backyard bird favourite for many. They are quite adorable with their round head and tiny body. Widley recognized by their black cap and bib. Due to their highly curious nature, they have a habit of investigating new feeders and even people. Because of this, they are often one of the first birds that new backyard birders get to experience. Often heard before seen, they really make their presence known in any forested area or feeder location. They are also non migratory, so we get to enjoy them all year round.
Chickadees are also a great jumping off point for finding more birds. They frequently investigate birders. Warblers and some other migrating songbirds will associate themselves closely with chickadees. If you find chickadees, there are likely other birds around! They are often accompanied by nuthatches, creepers and kinglets as well.

*disclaimer: I can personally attest to this, on a recent birding adventure I found a flock of chickadees and in the trees. In that area I also spotted a number of warbler species including Black-Throated Blue Warblers and Nashville Warblers.

They have a highly recognizable call. Easily remembered by name you can hear a "Chicka dee dee dee". Did you know that these calls often serve as predator alerts or contact calls? The more "dees" that are included, the higher level of threat. The other species that associate with their flocks also respond to these warning calls. In this way, they help protect many migrants that are moving through by alerting them to nearby threats.

These little cuties are incredibly adapt to surviving our cold and harsh winters. They cache seeds!! A single chickadee can fly away with 1,000 seeds per day. Similar to Eastern Grey Squirrels, they are scatter hoarders and each seed will be hidden in a unique location. This could be under tree bark, leaves or even shingles. They remembers thousands of unique locations every year. So, how do you attract these adorable, curious birds to your yard? Put up a feeder and offer sunflower seed!! They also enjoy peanut pieces and safflower. Surprisngly to some, they also frequent suet feeders and enjoy Bark Butter and SuperSuet. If you really want in their good books, try offering some mealworms. If you offer these from your hand they will often come and land on your hand to take some.
Chickadees are easy to find, easy to attract and even easier to love. They are one of our all-time favourite birds.
Enjoy these small, spunky, smart adorable birds!


Warmly,

Heather

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