Mostly chickadees

Black-capped chickadeeOn my photo walk today, I photographed mostly chickadees. This was intentional because I was following up on yesterday’s blog about the nesting habits of chickadees. Today was just slightly warmer and a whole lot sunnier than yesterday, but when I stationed myself in the shade of a large tree with a good view of what is possibly a chickadee nesting hole, I discovered that it was not as warm as I had hoped. After 20-30 minutes of observation (and chickadee feeding), I was cold and stiff, but, unfortunately, no chickadees had entered or left through the hole in the tree trunk. Several landed on the edge, but didn’t go inside. It looks like I will be spending more time at my observation post on another day (or two or three).

A few additional observations:

  • Chickadees love peanut chips! If you have followed my blog or my Blipfoto journal, you probably already knew that, but maybe you haven’t been following, and weren’t aware of that important fact about chickadees. If you are lucky enough to have these friendly little birds in your area, try this: Take a small bag of peanut chips (the kind you buy at the feed store) to the park (or your backyard). When you see or hear a chickadee, pour a few peanuts into the palm of your hand, and hold them out toward the chickadees. The first time you do this, they might not pay much attention, so just place the peanuts on a bench or a log and walk a little distance away and watch. Chances are it won’t be long before some chickadees (and cardinals, and titmice, and even downy woodpeckers) are feasting on those tasty tidbits. Do this a few times, and they will recognize you as a friend. They will start chirping and following you as you walk down the trail. Before long they will be eating out of your hand.
  • Chickadees have a great sense of smell. This statement is based on personal observation, not empirical scientific research studies. As I stood at my observation post this morning, I scattered a few handfuls of peanut chips on the ground around the tree. Gradually, over the next 20 minutes or so, those little birds found and gobbled down every one of those peanuts. Picking one up in his beak, a little bird would fly to a nearby tree limb to enjoy the snack. In a short while, he would return, unerringly pick up another peanut and take off. They did this time after time. How else would they know where to find the peanut under the grass, weeds, and other debris, if it weren’t for a superior sense of smell. If you have another theory, please share it through the comments at the end of this post.
  • Blue jays are bossy! Just watch them for a while, and you will see what I mean.

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    That’s it for today from the northeast corner of Ohio. Thanks for visiting.
    Carolyn aka Skip

    PS The pictures in the slideshow were taken on my walks in the park yesterday and today.

  • Bird watching

    I don’t keep track of the birds I see on my photo walks. I don’t have a life list, and I can’t identify all of them, although I am slowly learning. My fascination with birds is based on their behaviors, and just watching them brings me a lot of joy. This morning I observed a chickadee disappear into a hole in the trunk of a tree. She (or he) entered the hole several times, but never without carefully surveying the area. Apparently sometimes s/he didn’t think entering the hole was a good idea and would abort the attempt.

    Maybe some of you are familiar with this behavior and can explain it to the rest of us. If so, that would be much appreciated. Here are a few pictures I took during the half-hour I stood by the tree and watched the shenanigans.

    I wish I had captured better pictures, but I got too wrapped up in watching the chickadees. I think I will return on the next sunny day to see if I can see get some better shots.

    Meanwhile, here is the one of “speedy chickadee” zooming out of the tree:

    Thanks for stopping by today.
    Tomorrow I will post a few more birds from today’s photo walk.

    Carolyn aka Skip

    A happy surprise!

    For years I have been walking past this bird nesting box, stopping occasionally to check it out. Never have I seen any inhabitants…until today that is! I tried to creep closer, hoping for more detail, but screech owls are apparently very shy. At least this one is. As soon as I approached the box, he dropped out of sight. I will try again tomorrow.


    Thanks for stopping by today. See you soon.
    Carolyn aka Skip

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