Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sweet Carolina Chickadees

I'd enjoy having more of these adorable chickadees around.  A couple of them will visit the feeders daily but I've never seen more than two at one time.  Carolina Chickadees are more sociable than the other birds- when outdoors, they will come within a few feet of me and my camera.  The chickadee prefers to grab a seed then fly to a nearby limb to eat it alone.  He's fast as lightening, however, so I have to be quick when I want a photo.  I've managed to get a few good close-ups of him, or her.  

The Carolina Chickadee is the only chickadee in the southeast.  During winter they associate with other small birds such as warblers, nuthatches, woodpeckers and titmice.  In early spring, they begin separating into pairs to breed.  The bonds between male and female lasts from years to a lifetime.  Each chickadee flock member has a rank; once spring arrives, the highest ranking individuals will nest within the flock’s territory; lower ranking birds must travel farther to successfully claim a territory and many don’t nest that season. Throughout the year, members of pairs, families, and flocks communicate with one another constantly.

Carolina Chickadees actively defend an individual space, keeping at least 2.2 feet, and sometimes at least 5 feet, between individuals; when two are closer than that, the dominant bird may make gargle calls. At feeders, each bird typically takes a seed and carries it to a branch somewhat isolated from other chickadees to eat.  I've often watched them do this.

Enjoy this video with Chickadee songs in the background:

They are so precious :)

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