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November 26, 2011 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Black-capped Chickadee

The cute little Chickadee is one of my favorite birds. They can be found in a wide range of habitats from woodlands to backyards. They are friendly and curious and don’t mind people.

The ones I see in my area are the Black-capped Chickadee and they are found across the northern US and Canada and are here year round; they don’t migrate. In the west is the Mountain Chickadee and in the southeast is the Carolina Chickadee.

This is one of the more difficult birds for me to photograph because they never stay still. I can get close to them but they are always in motion. The bird in the photo above was busy twirling around plucking seeds from the dried out plants and when he paused to get his balance, I got him.

This little guy on the right was nice enough to sit still for a moment, but that rarely happens.

Interesting Facts:

  • The Black-capped Chickadee has one of the most complex, language-like songs with the ability to communicate information as well as alarms.
  • The more “dee” notes in a chickadee-dee-dee call, the higher the threat level.
  • They store food in hundreds of different places and can remember those locations.
  • It is the state bird of Maine and Massachusetts.
  • When temperatures are below zero they will hollow out a roosting cavity to sleep in.


I link up my bird photos on Saturday Snapshot hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.



Leave a Comment
  1. Louise / Nov 26 2011 5:28 am

    What a fabulous post. I love your photos! I appreciate the difficulty in trying to photograph small flitty birds. So very difficult, but you’ve done a great job. I love the top one. It looks like it has a fantail? It has very attractive markings on the head too. Thanks for introducing me to this lovely little bird. I wouldn’t be able to remember if I had food in hundreds of places, and indeed can forgot what I have in the fridge!


    • Leslie / Nov 27 2011 12:30 am

      Thanks. The tiny birds are the most difficult to get a clear photo of. The Chickadee has a long tail and I’ve gotten a few shots of it fanned out, for balance I assume.


  2. Lisa@ButteryBooks / Nov 26 2011 7:14 am

    Very cute bird. I love all the info you give on the birds you photograph…I realize how little I know about these little creatures that I see everyday.


  3. gautami tripathy / Nov 26 2011 8:00 am

    Thanks for the info! That first picture is a like a woman dancing!

    Here is my Saturday Snapshot post!


  4. Trish / Nov 26 2011 8:22 am

    They’re such sweet little birds! That’s interesting about the ‘dee dee’ part of their song – I never knew that.


    • Leslie / Nov 27 2011 12:33 am

      I was surprised to learn that too. Now I listen for how many dees they are singing.


  5. Jill / Nov 26 2011 8:30 am

    What great shots! I’ve said before, I have little luck with birds and taking their pictures. I don’t hav eenough patience or I’m always accompainied by little people who make too much noise I guess.


    • Leslie / Nov 27 2011 12:35 am

      It’s not just the little people. I’ve taken my best pictures when I’m alone and hiding behind trees and shrubs.


  6. I love your birding pictures. We recently moved into a house that has a wonderful window that, while too high for me to sit on the couch and enjoy the birds, my cat likes to get up there and watch the view! (Don’t worry, he can’t get to them). However, I’ve been thinking that I need to update the bird feeders that are sitting in the tree that provides this activity, so I’m going to have to go check out my options at the local toy store (Home Depot). 🙂


    • Leslie / Nov 27 2011 12:38 am

      I bet the cat is entertained for hours watching the birds. I have five feeders and a few are the expensive Audubon types, but the ones the birds like the best are a homemade tray feeder and a little plastic one from Home Depot.


  7. Patti Smith / Nov 26 2011 9:02 am

    It’s easy to see why he’s called a Black Cap Chickadee!! I had no idea he even existed!! Isn’t nature fantastic?? I can sit outside in the mornings for hours and watch the animals scurry around from tree to tree…we have more squirrels than birds though due to our 3 cats.


  8. Arlee Bird / Nov 26 2011 9:02 am

    Wow! You really froze those birds in time. Some outstanding photographs.

    Enjoy my delightful interview with Susan Kane on
    Wrote By Rote Saturday 11/26


  9. BermudaOnion / Nov 26 2011 9:13 am

    You are so patient and it pays off – your photos are gorgeous!


  10. smellincoffee / Nov 26 2011 9:16 am

    I can only echo BermundaOnion — tremendous patience! And this one is indeed a cute. Its form seems more…concentrated than other birds, almost as if it’s a ball with a tail.


    • Leslie / Nov 27 2011 12:40 am

      Ball with a tail is a good description. They are compact little cuties.


  11. Beth F / Nov 26 2011 9:42 am

    I adore these cute little birds. I have a several who visit my feeder daily and I love how they are so friendly. Thanks for the facts!


  12. laurelrainsnow / Nov 26 2011 10:10 am

    I really love the top photo, with the “surreal” looking plants around the bird, like a cloak, almost. Thanks for sharing.



  13. Diane@BibliophileBytheSea / Nov 26 2011 10:15 am

    yes we have loads of these around, but I wasn’t aware they had such good memories…LOL Very beautiful capture.


  14. Paulita / Nov 26 2011 11:26 am

    Terrific bird pictures as usual. We learned the call of the black-capped chickadee when we bought one of those bird clocks when the kids were little. We could often hear the chickadee without actually spotting him. Now we’ve taken the batteries out of the clock.Here’s Mine


  15. WordsAndPeace / Nov 26 2011 12:39 pm

    I love them too, and they are great gymnasts! I painted one last year: see here, scroll down, it’s the 6th down:


  16. Alyce / Nov 26 2011 1:15 pm

    One of the first birds my parents taught me to identify (after the robin and blue jay I’m sure) was the chickadee – and I’ve always thought they were so cute!


  17. Sheila (Book Journey) / Nov 26 2011 1:42 pm

    That is a beautiful picture!


  18. Lisa / Nov 26 2011 3:37 pm

    What an interesting pair of pictures! The first bird seems huge and the second one seems tiny.

    Here’s my snapshot.


    • Leslie / Nov 27 2011 12:43 am

      They are tiny birds. The first one looks large because he’s hanging from some wildflowers. The second on is higher up in a tree.


  19. Debbie Rodgers / Nov 26 2011 4:04 pm

    I love chickadees – they have one of the only calls I can recognize and I hear them year ’round. Great photos!


    • Leslie / Nov 27 2011 12:45 am

      I usually hear them before I see them. And it’s great that they stay year-round. In the winter it’s nice to see them bouncing around in the shrubs and at the feeders.


  20. Suko / Nov 26 2011 6:15 pm

    What pretty pictures! I didn’t know the chickadee was the state bird of Maine and Massachusetts.


  21. Mystica / Nov 26 2011 6:30 pm

    Beautiful photographs.


  22. Marie / Nov 26 2011 7:35 pm

    As usual, great photographs. I love chickadees. We have tons of them in our backyard. Occasionally, I’ll have to shoo them away in order to fill the feeders. They just sit there looking at what I’m doing. Some of them are so tame, they’ll sit on the feeder as I’m trying to fill it up. I love hearing their calls.


    • Leslie / Nov 27 2011 12:48 am

      Definitely the friendliest birds in my yard too. They fly around me and buzz my head when I’m filling the feeders. One of these days one is going to land on me!


  23. irene / Nov 26 2011 8:13 pm

    I love visiting your birding weekends, wonderful creatures thanks for teaching us so much about them.


  24. Bev@My Reader's Block / Nov 26 2011 10:11 pm

    That first picture is absolutely beautiful! I think it’s the best of yours I’ve seen yet.

    Here’s my Snapshot:


  25. Kailana / Nov 27 2011 4:32 pm

    Great pictures!


  26. Carol / Nov 30 2011 4:45 pm

    That top photo is simply gorgeous.


  27. Cathy / Dec 2 2011 12:48 am

    This post reminded me of the Christmas tree I decorated today. I saved it for last because it reminds me of the woman who passed along her love of birds to me– my grandmother. I call it my Bird Tree, and there is a chickadee on it!


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