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Four Chickadees frozen in time are painted with the soft grey palette of winter.


Black-capped Chickadee, Poecile atricapillus

A watercolor wash of wings in motion.
Flit in. Flit out.

One seed grabbed to be cached for later.
Flit in. Flit out.

One seed grabbed to be hammered open now, on a favorite branch.
Chickadees remember the locations of their many winter caches for almost a month. I must make a written list daily.

Chickadee calls are astonishingly complex. The little socialists communicate information to all birds that may be listening, about food sources, predator threats and group movement. A recent study shows that the number of alarmed 'dees' and shortened intervals between 'chick' and 'dees', give grave warning to 'scatter the seeds and fly like hell'.


Chickadees weigh as much as a large teaspoon of sunflower seeds. On cold winter nights they survive by dropping their body temperature 10 or 12°C below their normal body temperature to conserve energy. Few birds have the capacity for torpor.  


'fee-bee'   'fee-bee'
Females also sing! Occasionally.
Best wishes from Wisconsin and good winter birding to all.

Originally posted to Wild Notebook on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:31 PM PST.

Also republished by Backyard Science, Birds and Birdwatching, and Badger State Progressive.

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