Day: September 24, 2014

Chickadees

One of my favourite sounds of home … are the chickadees. At this time of year a whole flock of them gather back in our yard. They spread out during the summer – but come back together as nesting season ends.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASpeaking of which … Ede found this at the base of the fir tree at the end of the laneway.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe’re pretty sure it was a chickadee nest. When you look closely at it you can see that it has extra special bedding material – donkey hair! Even one very prominent long dark Bella strand! It would have made a soft cozy home for a few babies.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have only once noticed what I thought was a baby chickadee … how much littler can you get? There is a great YouTube video of a chickadee nesting box web cam here. It is interesting to see them when they are so teeny. They chirp and sing ‘chicka-dee-dee-dee’ from all directions at once around here. They are curious and follow us around the yard and the woods. A few winters ago – quite a few now – I spent a lot of time teaching that year’s flock that I was a source of unshelled sunflower seeds on cold winter afternoons. It got to where I could stand still and have almost ten of them popping around on my hat, shoulders, arms and even in my  hands. That group then followed me even if I went hiking across the road down to Fish Creek. Maybe this year I’ll find time to get to know this new bunch as well …
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey became so comfortable that I could hold my left hand out with seeds – and zoom in with my camera in my right hand.  This little one reminded me of an ookpik … remember those little furry stuffed toys? I think they were from storybooks about an arctic owl?
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere was one bird who was especially aggressive. That chickadee seemed to try to tell me, come spring, to stop feeding the flock. It would nip at my fingers and bite at my palm … I nicknamed ‘him’ the King and took his advice!