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.