Nature Tweets Sweeter – Black Capped Chickadees
One of our favorite backyard birds is the little cheerful-looking, and cheerful sounding, Black-capped Chickadee. Chickadee is the North American name for birds that are called tits (no snickering please) in rest of the world where these birds are found. Tits is actually an old German word meaning something small. It makes sense to us.
We’ve been filling the feeder with their favorite black-oiled sunflower seeds, as well as suet to help them survive our crazy, cold winter this year. They are quite friendly and don’t seem to mind our presence in the yard with them. It’s interesting to watch them at the feeder too because they exhibit a complex flock hierarchy, allowing dominate birds to feed first.
The North American name for them is based on the sound the birds make, chick-a-dee-dee. However, our favorite tune to hear is their distinctive fee-bee-ee whistle. It always brings us a smile to hear the melodic song outside our windows. We also feel lucky that the fee-bee song is actually distinctly longer for chickadees in Oregon and Washington. We get it, the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest is something to sing about.
I found this fun video, an Ode to Songbirds produced by students and teachers involved in an awesome program sponsored by the Tremont Institute, located within the Great Smokey Mountain National Park.