by Jeff Goulden
In Western Washington State the chickadee is a year-round resident. When I go out in my backyard I am frequently greeted by their chick-a-dee-dee-dee call. There are two distinct chickadee varieties that live in my area. The most common is the Black-Capped Chickadee with its buff colored sides and black gray wings and tail. The Chestnut-Backed Chickadee is slightly smaller and sports a rich chestnut brown color on its back.
Both varieties have a voracious appetite at the bird feeder. They seem fairly cooperative and I haven't observed much fighting or squabbling among them. One interesting habit I have observed is chickadees will take a nut from the feeder and peck at it while holding it between their toes. Did they learn this behavior or is it instinctive? One can only speculate. I've researched this behavior and have yet to turn up any information.
The chickadee is bold, gregarious and not a bit shy of humans. On more than one occasion, a chickadee has landed on my head, perhaps looking for nesting material.
I try to keep my distance when photographing birds by using a 400mm lens. On several occasions I have been able to approach a chickadee close enough to use a 200mm lens.
More pictures of the cheerful chickadee can be seen in my Chickadee Gallery at Istockphoto.com. Other bird species can be seen in my Joy of Birds Gallery. Signed fine art prints from many of my photographs are available for purchase on Fine Art America. Be sure to enter discount code LFMNSE at checkout. For special offers and to follow my photographic journey please Join My Email List.
Jeff's Photo Blog
In this Photo Blog I have combined my 50 year passion for photography and my love of the natural world, creating a portfolio that reveals nature in its pure and simple beauty. I am pleased to share my passion with you through this blog.