Happy New Year Chickadee

Posted by Jane N on

John & I spent most of New Years week at the cabin. There wasn't much snow and the snowmobiles had packed down the road to the cabin so we were able to drive right up. With just a little bit of shoveling, we were able to get into the driveway, which is a first for the Winter time up there. Even thou there wasn't much snow it was extremely cold and windy, high temp was about 20 and the low -5. The cabin was in good shape, a couple of trees feel but nothing hit the cabin. We were snug and warm.

I took a walk one morning and a small flock of Chickadees seemed very interested in my movements. They actually followed me, hopping about in the trees along side the trail as I walked. A couple of them even buzzed my head, I was sure they were going to land on me. They don't have a fear of humans, they just don't see enough to have developed a fear of us. They are a curious bird. I stood still and put out my hand and sure enough one landed in my hand.

The little bird sat in my hand, cocked his head and chirped at me as if to say, “OK here I am where's my treat?” I felt bad I didn't have any seeds to offer it. When I got back to the cabin I asked John to stop at Youngs and pick up some bird seed when he went out to try fishing the river by the Dam. When he returned I put some seed in my hand and stood outside with my hand raised. It didn't take but 2 minutes before the first Chickadee flew in and landed in the tree beside me. I stood still hand out stretched, camera ready in my other hand then the first bird flew in and landed on my hand.

Before I knew it there was a flock of 8 Chickadees buzzing around me! At one time there was even two birds on my hand at once. They didn't seem to mind the camera at all, thou it was so cold my camera shutter was moving very slowly so I could only get a few shots. I tried taking off my gloves to feed them but they didn't like landing on my bare hand. Their little feet felt so gentle as they sat on my fingers. Then a bird landed on my head! I think it actually was a Red-breasted Nuthatch by the sound of it and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the blur of blue streak by.

I know that it can be dangerous to the birds of the wild to become dependent on humans to feed them. Especially since I won't be there often during the Winter to refill a feeder. I had brought up with me a large 10 X 12 suet/seed block that we hung for them. That should last till we get back in a couple of weeks. Each day I was there I spread a few seeds on the ground for them too. Not to much that they get dependent on an easy meal, but just enough to sustain them. I watched as the Chickadees and Nuthatch would grab a sunflower seed and fly off to a pine tree and shove the seed into the bark. You see the birds have learned to store food like squirrels do in the Winter and they remember where they are when times get lean.

I've sent along a few pictures for you to enjoy. So the first bird I saw of 2015 was everyone’s favorite the Black-caped Chickadee, sitting in my hand looking back at me. Happy New Year little Chickadee!

Happy Birding, Jane

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