Black-Capped Chickadee

The Black-Capped Chickadee
The Black-Capped Chickadee  © 2013 by Gary Donaldson

We feed a lot of birds throughout the winter at Woodhaven.  One of the most common species we see, as is the case for most backyard birdwatchers, is the Black-Capped Chickadee.  These “masked moochers” are well adapted to the harsh winters of northern Wisconsin.  They have the rare ability to lower their body temperature during cold winter nights to conserve energy.

They also exhibit the “squirrel-like” habit of stashing excess food in secret hiding places throughout their home range.  Studies show they can remember where their many caches are located for up to 28 days.  When the weather gets harsh and the food supply dwindles, chickadees can fall-back on their private stores.

Chickadees have a high tolerance for people being around the bird feeders.  If a person is patient and still, chickadees will even take food from an outstretched hand.

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5 comments on “Black-Capped Chickadee

  1. Gary, what a great shot! Nicely composed. We also enjoy watching the Chickadees along with the Nuthatch and Titmouse. Did you use a long lens for this image?

  2. Gary, The Donaldsons are like the chickadees. Now if you could only learn to master that lower body-temp maneuver, you’d really have it made. Great photo and article.

  3. Hi Kris, I guess we are like the chickadees – we are still enjoying the stores of food put up from this past harvest. I don’t know about the lower body-temp thing – the wood stove is mighty cozy this time of year!

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