Friday, February 1, 2013

Animal Lore: Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee on a suet feeder.
The Black-capped Chickadee is a small song bird native to North America, and is only one of a few varieties of Chickadees. They're known for their distinctive 'chick-a-dee-dee-dee' call, which is the source of their name. That particular call is their alarm call, the greater the threat, the more dees will be included on the end of their call. It serves as a warning to other Chickadees in the area, and some other birds have also been known realize that call being associated with danger.

In addition to their chick-a-dee call, they are known to sing quite a few calls, often fairly complex in their nature. Another of their more distinctive calls is their 'fee-bee' call. If you've got Chickadees in your area, there's a good chance you've heard this call before.

Chickadee taking some suet.
Chickadees eat a variety of foods. In the warmer months, the bulk of their diet is made up of insects, although they also eat berries and seeds. In the colder months their diet is a bit more limited, but they still look for seeds and other such foods. Chickadees have occasionally been seen eating fat fro carcases in colder months, and appreciate suet feeders. Chickadees have been known to store food in tons of different locations, and they can remember where food is hidden for up to a month. There is also some indication that they can even remember the quality and quantity of food in a particular cache, if it is one that had been recently made.

Chickadees are year round birds, although they may occasionally go north or south with the weather within a limited range. Chickadees have the ability to lower their body temperate in cold weather, which allows them to preserve energy.

Many Chickadees are bold little birds, and if you're patient it is possible to get one to feed on seed right from your hands. They're known to be curious, and are not as fearful around humans as some other birds.

Because of their traits, Chickadees can be symbolic of bravery, curiosity, intelligence, resourcefulness, and perseverance. Chickadees can warn one of coming danger, and are said to be able to discern the true nature of an individual and their intent.


  1. Yay ! I'm glad I found you via the PBP ! I work a lot with animals, but it's always very difficult to get info. Thank you for this post.

    1. Glad you liked it! :) I'm hoping to add a new animal post each month.