07.06.2021 Black-capped Chickadee

The Massachusetts state bird, the Black-capped Chickadee-Poecile atricapillus, is one of our most often seen birds. They are fairly trusting of humans and can be attracted by what is called pishing, the sound one makes, that will sometimes convince them to approach and even land on one’s hand in hopes of an easy seed feed. Or sometimes they will land on someone’s black cap where some seed has been deposited.

This past Sunday I visited Moosehorn Pond looking for frogs and, as it happened, pink water-lilies.  While roaming the road I noticed a chickadee enter a hole in an old stump.  I watched for a while and made a few images.  I was not able to capture one entering the hole but I did get a good look at one leaving with a bit of nest debris.  Bring some food in take some trash out.

I’ve never tried to capture a bird in flight so my technique for the inbound shots was lacking.  Fortunately the outbound involved a quick perching before flight.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Animal Behavior, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to 07.06.2021 Black-capped Chickadee

  1. Gallivanta says:

    We have a slogan, Be a Tidy Kiwi. Here we have a Tidy Chickadee. A very charming one, too. ( I have no idea if Kiwi (the bird) is a tidy creature. Kiwi ( the person) needs to try harder to be tidier.) How long does it take to persuade a chickadee to take food off a hat?

    Liked by 1 person

    • And yet Americans who come to New Zealand for the first time are likely to find it the cleanest country they’ve ever seen. America has much more trash on its streets. We were sorry to find the scourge of graffiti making some inroads even in tidy New Zealand.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gallivanta says:

        Now that you mention graffiti, it occurs to me that I haven’t seen much of it in our neighborhood recently. I hope I have not spoken too soon.


    • That’s good slogan. As Steve mentioned we here experience a lot of littering. During the pandemic shutdown many national parks were trashed and people dropped their masks everywhere with no regard. But we are not unique as many developed countries, aside from New Zealand 🙂 ,do have a littering problem and the oceans are often the dumping ground for many.

      It actually did not take long at all. We were in an orchard where the birds and deer are fed bird seed so they are used to people feeding them. It is against the park rules but is not enforced.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love chickadees, there’s a park near Rochester, NY where they’re accustomed to eating out of your hand, when you find the right spots, it just takes a couple minutes with your arm outstretched and you’ll be sure to have some customers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just mentioned to Anne that this location is the same…the birds and deer are accustomed to being fed. It is a part of the watershed where hunting is not allowed but of course the deer do not stay in one place and wander to where hunting is allowed so may mistake a hunter for a seed merchant..


  3. The term “black-cap” originally got transferred from people to certain birds with black on the top of their head, and now in the top picture black-cap got transferred back to a person. There’s an endangered bird in central Texas called the black-cap vireo.


  4. Chickadee in flight… good luck 😂. I’ve been doing this for years and probably have only a few LOL. Like Woodpeckers, a few fast wing flaps, pause, repeat the process. Makes for an incredible erratic pattern. If there even is one 😂😂😂.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am sure if I did BIF more often I would get the hang of it. My Canon 5D Mark IV is not a particularly fast burst camera and my Tamron 100-400 won’t autofocus with the extender on. Excuses excuses. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Peter Klopp says:

    To capture a bird in flight will always be a challenge, especially with chickadees. I love your photo of the chickadee on the hat, Steve.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Peter. Mark wasn’t really afraid but did close his eyes. It takes practice which I have had little of. Since I don’t shoot handheld it is more difficult and I mentioned a couple of my kit’s shortcomings above to Ted. Always blame the equipment..

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love that first shot, Steve. I have never tried to put bird seed on my hat, but now I will have to. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. krikitarts says:

    Chickadees are among our very favorites, and we miss them. We’ve both just gotten our second C-19s and if restrictions relax a bit, we hope to be able to make it back in the fall to see more.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. shoreacres says:

    I adore chickadees. I had some nesting nearby this year, and although I never saw the nest, the birds quickly found the feeders, and made what seemed like hundreds of visits each day. I knew when the babies had begun to develop because of the chirping — and I knew when they’d left the nest, because the chirping suddenly was coming from several directions, and the poor parents were nearly worn out. Now, I see one only occasionally, and rarely hear a chirp. The babies are grown, and I suspect the parents are having a nice rest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We humans have it easier, those of us who had children, with society offering so many choices and ease of acquisition for feeding our young. Our wild neighbors have a tough time of it. I don’t know how many other species do this but robins often have a second clutch as we’ve seen from our garage nestings.I wonder if those who do are younger pairs.
      We’ve stopped feeding birds because of bears and do miss them, especially the chickadees.


  9. bluebrightly says:

    Ahh, they’re wonderful and the photo of the man is priceless. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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