Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My Favorite Bird


My apologies to my non-North American friends. I wrongly assumed that Chickadees, like sparrows, were common to all northern climes. After doing some research, I found that northern North America is the only place that the black-capped chickadee is found. I now feel quite privileged, and honored that they inhabit MY back yard.

Chickadees have always been my favorite bird. They're usually very sweet, and quite tame. We have several, who will land on us while we're filling the feeder. They'll also eat out of our hands, if the feeder is empty. They can also be quite feisty, and defensive when challenged. Maybe that's why I like chickadees so much; their personality is similar to mine.

From our years of observing chickadees, we've found that each one has it's own special seed-opening perch. Chickadee's beaks are quite small, so they find a spot where they can wedge their sunflower seeds to open them. Each chickadee has his own spot and they're quite territorial about their spots. They get miffed with us, when we eliminate their special spots by trimming the tree next to the feeder. I'm certain that the bottom picture is of that chickadee's seed opening spot.

Chickadees are rather hyper, which makes them difficult to photograph. We have hundreds of chickadee action shots. In other words, blurry feather shots. We do have several decent pictures of chickadees eating out of our hands. I'm just too lazy to find them right now.

Cornell University has found that: "The chickadee's simple-sounding calls have been found to be extremely complex and language-like. They code information on identity and recognition of other flocks as well as predator alarms and contact calls. "

I'm so glad that this study was done. Now I know I'm not crazy when I talk to the chickadees and they talk back to me. Chickadees insist on looking you in the eye while talking to you, even if they have to cling to your hair and hang upside down over your forehead. Chickadees have virtually no weight. They feel like a vibrating ball of energy when they sit in your hand.

Cornell also says:
"Its apparently cheerful activity throughout the harshest winters has won it the admiration of many people. "
I guess that about sums it up; a cheery face to brighten our winters.

37 Comments:

At 10/17/2006 8:23 PM, Blogger SME said...

I find it hard to believe that "chick-a-dee-dee-dee" is code for a bunch of different things, but I'll take the smart guys' word for it.

 
At 10/17/2006 9:28 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

C'mon, you KNOW when they're mad, or when they're happy, or scared, just by listening to them.
You just don't want to sound crazy because you converse with them too. ;)

 
At 10/17/2006 10:46 PM, Blogger European said...

Hey- this place has gone to the birds. In a good way, of course. I really enjoyed this. I've spotted a blue jay in my yard, and while they're pretty, they're really obnoxious (maybe to mirror my personality???).

 
At 10/17/2006 11:33 PM, Blogger Vest said...

I talk to the Birds but not when I could be overheard, its not a 'Man Thing'
ER, I hope every one is having a pleasant day, should it be either sunny cold hot or snowing, enjoy.

 
At 10/18/2006 7:41 AM, Blogger Gardenia said...

i have not seen one, but if I put out sunflower seeds, will they come? I talk to birds too......and deer........and owls...........

 
At 10/18/2006 8:03 AM, Blogger Vancouver Voyeur said...

Cool pictures and great info. I know nothing about birds, but these ones sound fun. Currently we have a Cardinal who pecks incessantly at the arched window at the top of our sunroom. He did this last year and we thought he was attacking his reflection or trying to get in to build a nest. We put colored glass bottles up there to discourage him, but it didn't work. He disappeared during the summer and we thought we were rid of him, but he returned a few weeks ago. Any idea what his problem is or how to get him to stop?

 
At 10/18/2006 12:17 PM, Blogger Miladysa said...

I really enjoyed this post. Until I googled chickadee I honestly thought they were similar to hamsters!

The bottom photograph looks like a 'blue tit' to me and I am not being rude - it is a bird I have in my garden. google it & see :]

 
At 10/18/2006 5:03 PM, Blogger Vest said...

Never see them in the u/k or down under in strayer, seems like the polar bears never see penguins sort of thingy.
Oh Yeah Oh Yea, definitely seen another variety at Bondi during the winter season, named 'The Bondi Icebergs'.
I'm sorta finkin of 'Wobblies' agin.

 
At 10/18/2006 5:18 PM, Blogger Vest said...

Van Voy: First trap it then wring its neck then pluck and clean it.
It is then Smoked or Barbecued, I have been told it will taste like bacon.

 
At 10/18/2006 5:42 PM, Blogger Vest said...

Google...'Chickadee Chicken and Chips'.

Just another hunger busting variety, Ummm.

Makes the Colonel's stuff look neanderthal.

Its surprising how one word can open a can of worms.

 
At 10/18/2006 5:42 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Euro, we actually have a pair of well-behaved blue jays. I think they're mutants.
You're right, they ARE obnoxious, but they're just sooo pretty.
Have you ever seen a young blue jay? They have all their plumage, except their heads are bald.

Diana, it can't hurt to try. REMEMBER: black-oiled sunflower seed is their favorite.

VV, I think you're right; he's fighting with his reflection. Birds are like people, some aren't too bright.
My boss had a robin that returned for 3 years and did nothing but fight with his reflection in her window, from dusk 'til dawn. He even knocked himself out a couple of times. This bird really was, too stupid to breed! ;)

sa, we're too far north for titmice. From what I hear, they're quite similar, in personality, to chickadees.

 
At 10/18/2006 6:01 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

OOOPS! Make that dawn 'til dusk. He wasn't nocturnal. ;)

 
At 10/18/2006 6:35 PM, Blogger Vest said...

Those black oil sunflower seeds are the source of most of the polyunsaturated margarine that finds its way to our tables after its bleaching and processing with added preservatives and taste enhancers.
It turns out like Castrol GTX with extra magnetic viscosity. Enjoy.

 
At 10/19/2006 6:37 PM, Anonymous other said...

I googled Chickadee chicken-made me feel real peckish ha ha -great choices col sanders chook looks crap to this -that vest guy had agood account on the bustard bird I thought it was a joke on nancey drew, I'm not eating margerin again, some one was saying stuff about transfats, any one know about them.

 
At 10/19/2006 7:02 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

OK, Vest/Other. No more lies and playing childish games. You were on here for 28 minutes, PRECISELY at the time of Other's comment. The only other person who checked my blog, in that timeframe, was my daughter.
Either shape up or amuse yourself by talking to YOURSELF thru your alter-egos on your own blog.

 
At 10/19/2006 9:05 PM, Blogger SME said...

Hey now, are you implying I'M other? Heehee.

 
At 10/19/2006 9:16 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

SME, nope, you enjoy taking credit for your smartass comments! Besides, you'd never make the derogatory comments about women that "Other" does.

 
At 10/19/2006 9:20 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

BTW Vest, I see that you came back to check on your comment. What's the matter, cat got your tongues?

 
At 10/19/2006 10:59 PM, Blogger Candace said...

I LOVE chickadees. That article is right - they're such cheerful little things. :)

Do you get juncos there? I'm asuming you do because they follow the snow and I'm sure you get plenty of that! They haven't arrived here yet, but it might not be long the way things are going!

 
At 10/20/2006 1:50 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Candace, we've got lots of juncos right now.
Have you ever heard their spring mating song? I always thought they just cheeped, until they did a mating dance in our feeder, one spring. It's one of the most haunting bird songs I've ever heard.

 
At 10/20/2006 7:37 PM, Blogger Vest said...

Thank you so much for your compliments, it is not in my make-up to reply in kind, despite of your vitriolic attack.
Take your rose colored specs off, note that my comments all come with a trash can for your convenience.
Wednesday Oct 18 I made my last comment.
Thursday Oct 19, I was traveling to and from a soccer game in Sydney between about 3.30 pm to nearly midnight, Central Coast Mariners beat Sydney city 2 nil, check it out.
BTW. Don't cause any embarrassment to your self by apologizing for your unwarranted rude remarks I do have a fairly thick skin.
Have a beautiful day-every day.

 
At 10/20/2006 8:47 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Vest, and your point is....?
Your "Other" comment was posted 6 hours BEFORE you left for your soccer game. Your "Rastus" and Anon comments were posted after you returned home.
ALL of these comments came from the same computer that you just posted your last message on.
G'day mate!

 
At 10/20/2006 11:00 PM, Blogger SME said...

Hmm. Didn't see any vitriol - just justified annoyance. Looks like you've been busted, Vest.

 
At 10/21/2006 1:01 AM, Blogger Vest said...

Tshs I'll give you points for dogmatic arrogance, you blow more steam than a railroad engine, seems like dotty TeeHee has joined the witch hunt too.
Fortunately for me I don't have the obscure mindless train of thought you have adopted in order to obtain some weired form of credibility. I intend to discuss this matter with my Gr/Daughters Rocking horse it should should come up with more common sense than is emerging from you.
BTW. Who the blazes is rastus, anon.another figment of your wild imagination, who will be next Clint Eastwood or your presido.
It does appear you have a awful bad habit of nosing -spying or hacking; call it what you may it is deceitful and dishonest, and you have the Gall to attempt to discredit me. and please no more insidious emails from you if you dont mind,and if you read a recent comment on my latest post you may ?? If your not too thick, learn more to resolve the issue.

 
At 10/21/2006 1:26 AM, Blogger Vest said...

Ts;; There will be no more answers from me, but you sure have a heap of questions to ask yourself,If you can find the time, pop round and see doctor Nutter he may be able to help, best of luck Adios.

 
At 10/21/2006 3:51 AM, Anonymous other-or VJ said...

confused? other is VJ I have Access, I thought Tasmanians were slow catching on, where is that? Minnesota, must be all one big happy family where every one is called smith.

 
At 10/21/2006 9:10 AM, Blogger SME said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 10/21/2006 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

burp

 
At 10/21/2006 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

its a king sized mars bar with windows

 
At 10/21/2006 12:12 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Vest, you are correct; I DO blow off steam. It keeps me from getting ulcers.
No illegal hacking was used in tracking your comments on MY blog. It's just a matter of checking MY blogger records on OUR computer.
FYI, I've NEVER emailed you, except to thank you for your nicer emails. You'll notice that I don't reply to the gorey or nasty emails you send me. If you're receiving "insidious" emails, it must be from any of a number of people you've been harrassing(Michelle, for example).
I AM resolving this issue. I've let your nasty little anonymous comments slide for quite some time now. I drew the line when you started being nasty to my friends! Those comments are NOT shining examples of British humor; they're just plain obnoxious and childish!

SME, yup, just stating the facts in a civil manner. You'll notice that I didn't even swear. ;)

 
At 10/21/2006 5:06 PM, Blogger Nancy Drew said...

I love chickadees too.

 
At 10/21/2006 5:19 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

ND, that doesn't surprise me a bit. Just another thing we have in common. ;)

 
At 10/22/2006 3:15 AM, Blogger Vest said...

It is strange that the funny or odd emails sent on to you and other people, originate from possibly the nicest person who comments on your posts, so far you are the first like always to have it, heard it, seen it or whine about it, and seems your dog is the hairiest ? and your cat the blackest in sticksville, I could go on but the few more discrepancies you have are common Knowledge.
BTW. Not Michelle. My antagonist was a Michele from 'JAZZ COFFEE' who has a glossary of filthy expletives on offer enough to make the the major operators in the porn industry Wince in fear.that sleaze bag deserves more than she ever gets in return, incidentally her incoming email to me was blocked on April 18 at the same time of pugs in U/K and the Indian Saby; from Mumbai fmly Bombay, and his dozen aliases, also blocked were several others from Nth Am.
The weather is now warming up again after a very unusually cold wind apparently coming from the uncle samland however it did little to affect me being I am feeling quite comfortable at this moment.
The humor thing. Sadly lacking on your ever whining and prattling on blog, probably get more humorous response from a side winders rattle bet you are immune from snake bite being closely aligned.
some people are lucky are they
not. Try and have a pleasant Sunday.

 
At 10/24/2006 8:05 PM, Blogger Squirl said...

I love chickadees. They are the cute and bold at the same time. :)

 
At 11/09/2006 7:34 AM, Blogger tweetey29 said...

WE have a bird feeder in our back yard. how do we decide what to put in it? I know bird feed but what kind or is there only one kind out there? anyone know?? Boy tshs, you have troubles with this guy. SME had warned me but yikes after reading this for myself. Well i am going to get going. I just sent K off to school and i will catch everyone later. have a great day and enjoy whats left of our beautiful weather before it gets too cold out there. Its suppose to be sixty here today and then drop off tomorrow so i would like to get out and rake our leaves today that i keep putting off. Alright i am really going this time around LOL.... bye to everyone and again enjoy the weather. tweetey.

 
At 11/09/2006 2:19 PM, Blogger tshsmom said...

Tweets, most birds like black-oiled sunflower seed the best.
We had the 60F yesterday. It's back down to 20F today. Rake fast! ;)

 
At 11/09/2006 2:54 PM, Blogger tweetey29 said...

all i was trying to do is get the big piles that were in the way for the mower next year. then i didnt want to kill our grass by leaving them there either. yes its suppose to get cold tomorrow also here. in the 40's. colder than today and yesterday anyway. its almost sixty today so B and i are outside enjoying the weather. M&M are coming this way over thanksgivig to visit her sister. so i was hoping they would stop but they cant. they are going back the same day so they wont be able to stop here for a few minutes. but that is ok. another time. if you and L ever want to go for a road trip our house is open to you ok. Well i have to go finish. thanks for the advice on the birds. we will try that next spring then. i will write it down and keep it someplace safe.

 

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