Over the weekend I had to run down to Wasilla to take care of a few errands, so while I was there I bought a couple of bird feeders, including a small one to hang just outside our office building door. That feeder almost immediately attracted the attention of a local nesting pair of one of my favorite birds – chickadees.
The Black-Capped Chickadee is ubiquitous across the northern part of North America. We have the Boreal Chickadee in these parts, too, although we haven’t seen any at the feeder yet. We’ve also been visited by a pair of Red-Breasted Nuthatches, and we have Cliff Swallows buzzing around, eating up the early bugs.
Everywhere I’ve lived, I’ve generally run a bird feeder. In our old Colorado home where we lived for so long, we had mostly house finches and chickadees. As a kid back at Bear Creek, we had chickadees, goldfinches, cardinals, and what I’ve long considered the most beautiful of North America’s songbirds, the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, which sadly doesn’t range this far north.
I like chickadees. I know I’m anthropomorphizing their behavior some, but to me they always seem so indefatigably cheerful. Even in temps of fifteen or twenty below, these tiny bundles of feathers are out and about with the sunrise, calling, exploring, looking for food. They are frequently first at the feeder in the morning and last to leave at night. It’s fun to have them around, and we’re looking forward to having more of their cousins visit as well.