Tuesday, March 17

Feeding the Chickadees

Many of our guests love hand-feeding the chickadees during the cooler months. The chickadees are around all year, but in the spring and summer they find enough food on their own without our help.

The neat thing is they don't even have to know you in order to eat from your hand. They're quite cheeky that way. Anyone with a handful of sunflower seeds is alright in their books.

Jim shot this video last week (that's my hand) and he slowed down the action a bit so you can actually see what's going on. They are fast little guys when they want to be. Although earlier this season I had one chickadee land on my hand, take a seed, then stay right there on my hand while he cracked it open and ate it so he could take another seed before flying off again. It was pretty amazing.

If you watch the video closely, you'll notice that one of the birds looks different than the rest. That's because a nuthatch decided to come for a free meal too. It's only the third time I've ever had a nuthatch land on my hand --they're generally quite shy and skittish compared to the chickadees-- so it was fortunate the camera was rolling. In case you're not sure which is which, the nuthatch is about the same size as a chickadee but more vibrantly coloured (kind of blue and orange) and more aerodynamically shaped.

We expect the chickadees will be demanding sunflower seeds for another month or so before the spring weather brings them their own bounty.

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