Chickadees

January started cold in Calgary this year. For the first two weeks, temperatures were near -20 degrees Celcius. I went down to Bowmont Park once to feed the Black-capped chickadees, but I didn’t hear a peep from a single one. Luckily, temperatures were balmy last weekend (a touch above 0) and the chickadees were singing happily. About ten of them took turns picking sunflower seeds out of my hand. Some sunflower seeds were shelled and others were unshelled pieces. Some of the chickadees were choosy about which shelled pieces they flew away with (larger? sweeter smelling?).

I usually try to photograph chickadees in my hand, but this Saturday, I decided to photograph them on branches, either before diving onto the pile of seeds on the snow covered ground, or while pecking at a newly acquired seed.

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25 Comments

  1. How wonderful that you can get them to eat out of your hand. I’ve never tried that. Perhaps one day. The images look terrific!

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    1. Thanks for enjoying the photos, Deborah :-)! I hope you do try hand feeding chickadees some day. They have an amazingly light touch and it is super charming when they look up at your face after landing. I tried hand feeding them because chickadees would often fly at my face when I stopped to take photos (likely because other people hand feed them). Sometimes, I don’t have seeds and put my black lens-cap in my hand. A few curious chickadees perch in my hand to see what the black object is.

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      1. I’ve heard for years they’ll eat out of your hand, but the pair that feed at my feeder when I’m outside with my camera never approach me. Perhaps I need to have seeds in my hand.
        I’ll have to try that this Spring when they return. Fingers crossed that they do return!

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        1. I hope they do return :-). I’m not sure if a chickadee will choose a hand over a feeder though. Maybe?

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  2. They are very cute and friendly, aren’t they? In our garden, they’re always the first at the feeders. They actually wait for us to finish filling them and as soon as we close the lid they fly right past our shoulders to land on it. They make us feel like family when they do that. Love them.

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    1. Oo, the chickadees must love your garden :-)! Thanks for sharing your cute story. I do like the feeling of being accepted by a flock of chickadees. After an alarm call or two, there is a “happy” song and then all the chirping is joyful.

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  3. I always feel so bad for the birds when it’s super cold outside. The lighting of these photos is so calming and surreal! Love them! 💖

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    1. I like to think that when it is super cold, little flocks of chickadees huddle together in tree holes. When it is mildly cold, I think it is super cool that their feathers allow them to be outside and stay warm. (I wish I had feathers and didn’t have to shop for clothes! Though preening looks somewhat time-consuming.) Thanks for enjoying the lighting. The perks of sun and snow and tree-filtered light! 🙂

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  4. Oh what lovely photos! They are such pretty birds. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Hazel :-)! Their cuteness, energy and joyful chirping cheer up winter days for me.

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  5. On a beaucoup de mésanges par chez nous mais pas celle-ci, très très jolie 🙂 Elles ne sont vraiment pas farouches si elles viennent dans ta main !

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    1. Non, pas farouches du tout :-)! Les mésanges à tête brune et les mésanges à dos marron aussi font cela, du moins dans les parcs où les gens les nourrissent souvent. Il y a plusieurs espèces de mésanges chez toi?

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      1. Salut Myriam,
        Merci pour ces précisions 🙂
        Oui, ici, nous avons beaucoup de chance, mésange bleue, mésange charbonnière, mésange à longue queue, mésange noire, mésange huppée et mésange nonnette ! ça en fait du monde aux mangeoires l’hiver 🙂
        A bientôt
        Seb

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        1. Toute une famille! Je vais les chercher sur Google. Merci pour la liste d’oiseaux adorable :-).

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  6. How can someone be so adorable like these little fellows?! Mother Nature has been generous for birds: ability to fly, sing and be so lovely.
    I love your photos, Myriam. They are so beautiful, with high quality ans so well captured. 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much for your lovely words of appreciation, Hanna :-)! Birds definitely have a lot of gifts… which we humans can enjoy… in some ways. I came upon a black-throated bushtit yesterday while looking for another species of chickadee; it isn’t a chickadee but has a similar size and shape and it has fun colours. If you want some cute photos, I recommend googling that bird.

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  7. You’ve gotten some darling shots of these little guys. Aren’t they adorable? Favorites of mine 🙂

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    1. Adorbs :-)! I was worried the other day that they are too plentiful. They are the most common bird in the winter in wooded parks and residential neighborhoods here… probably because of all the seeds people feed them… including me. My husband said if chickadees took over the world that was fine by him :-D. Thanks for your lovely comment!

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