I live in a pretty nifty location; almost 2 acres with a creek flowing through the property and a lot of willows. It’s a perfect little patch of birdie heaven. I also have feeders around the house filled with enticing sunflower and thistle seed. So far I have been able to identify approximately 20 different species of birds that have come to the yard. Some of them stay around for a season and some just stay a few days. Suffice it to say that I like watching the birds and a new sighting is cause for celebration. The Sibley Guide to North American Birds and the binoculars are always within reach. The best part is when someone asks, “What kind of bird is that”?, I can usually tell them.
My favorite “Bird of the Yard” is the Black-Capped Chickadee. These little guys use the willows as their winter shelter and will congregate in a flock of 20-30 birds. All winter long they will stay and endure the wicked cold temperatures, gail force winds and blinding snow.They spend their days flying from willow to feeder back to willow, cracking open one seed at a time. They blend in with their surroundings quite well, however, the distinctive chickadee-dee-dee song is unmistakeable.
Once spring arrives and food becomes more available the flock will thin out and only a few birds will remain throughout the summer. What I love most about these little birds is that they don’t get freaked out if you are close to the feeder. If you stand still they will continue with their feeding and actually check you out.