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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dude, you are annoying!

We spent Mother's Day at my daughter's family lakehouse. Of course I took my camera for family pictures, but also because they have so many little songbirds in the surrounding woods. As soon as we had arrived, my son-in-law filled the feeders outside the big picture window in the dining room. Immediately a little Black-Capped Chickadee and a little White-breasted Nuthatch came to dine and stayed most of the day.


For SOME reason, the Nuthatch started flying into the window and catching on to the frame and pecking at the glass. After this had gone on and on, I went outside to see if I could solve the puzzle of why he was doing this. It seemed to me that he was looking at the reflection of the feeder in the window, but when the lights went on inside and the reflection was not a factor, he continued flying at the window. This wore a little thin as we tried to have dinner. Finally my son-in-law started knocking back at the bird and said, "Dude! You are annoying!" Of course the 4-year-old picked up on that phrase, repeating it until WE were annoyed at HER.

We never did solve the mystery. I wonder if that bird is STILL flying at the window.
Black Capped Chickadee

One of the most familiar and beloved birds in northern North America, the Black-capped Chickadee is a frequent visitor to bird feeders. Its apparently cheerful activity throughout the harshest winters has won it the admiration of many people.


Small, short-billed bird.

  • Black cap.
  • Black bib.
  • White cheeks.
  • Size: 12-15 cm (5-6 in)
  • Wingspan: 16-21 cm (6-8 in)
  • Weight: 9-14 g (0.32-0.49 ounces)

Sex Differences

Sexes look alike.


Song: two or three notes whistled, with first higher in pitch, "fee-bee-ee." Call: suggests name "chick-a-dee-dee."

Conservation Status

Black-capped Chickadees have benefited from human-provided food and nest boxes, as well as increased forest edges caused by deforestation. However, overzealous forest management can reduce or eliminate natural nest sites.

Cool Facts

  • The Black-Capped Chickadee hides seeds and other food items for later recovery. Each item is placed in a different spot and a bird can remember thousands of hiding places.
  • The chickadee's simple-sounding calls have been found to be extremely complex and language-like. They code information on identity and recognition of other flocks as well as predator alarms and contact calls.
  • Breeding pairs and nonbreeders join up into flocks outside of the breeding season. Nonbreeders may be members of several flocks, with a different position in the dominance hierarchy of each flock.


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Gabby Faye
Michigan, United States
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