37 | 7° F
At 7:00 AM we are at 7 degrees little wind.
12:30 on Munger Trail - conditions for hiking are great - upper 20's for temp, little wind and trail surface hard packed.
Visited Jay Cooke's Swinging Bridge - icy in various spots on the trails and on the bridge.
the Present Day
Black Capped Chickadee Song
The latest change at the feeder was to fill-it-to-the-brim with black oil sunflower seeds that the ever-present chickadees seem to like along with the newest arrival of the House Wren. I never paid much attention to these wrens but once their song was linked in mind to them, I fell in love with these little birds.
- The Black-capped Chickadee hides seeds and other food items to eat later. Each item is placed in a different spot and the chickadee can remember thousands of hiding places.
- Every autumn Black-capped Chickadees allow brain neurons containing old information to die, replacing them with new neurons so they can adapt to changes in their social flocks and environment even with their tiny brains.
- Chickadee calls are complex and language-like, communicating information on identity and recognition of other flocks as well as predator alarms and contact calls. The more dee notes in a chickadee-dee-dee call, the higher the threat level.
- Winter flocks with chickadees serving as the nucleus contain mated chickadee pairs and nonbreeders, but generally not the offspring of the adult pairs within that flock. Other species that associate with chickadee flocks include nuthatches, woodpeckers, kinglets, creepers, warblers and vireos.
- Most birds that associate with chickadee flocks respond to chickadee alarm calls, even when their own species doesn’t have a similar alarm call.
- There is a dominance hierarchy within flocks. Some birds are “winter floaters” that don’t belong to a single flock—these individuals may have a different rank within each flock they spend time in.
- Even when temperatures are far below zero, chickadees virtually always sleep in their own individual cavities. In rotten wood, they can excavate nesting and roosting holes entirely on their own.
- Because small songbirds migrating through an unfamiliar area often associate with chickadee flocks, watching and listening for chickadee flocks during spring and fall can often alert birders to the presence of interesting migrants.
- The oldest known wild Black-capped Chickadee was a male and at least 11 years, 8 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in New York in 2021. It had been banded in the same state in 2009.