Montana Outdoors

April 13, 2011

Hi… my friend…

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — montucky @ 9:09 pm

Black-capped ChickadeeBlack-capped Chickadee, Parus atricapillus

At least that’s my take on its three note call, with the last two notes being a full tone lower than the first. It took a long time for me to match that call to the bird: its other call, the chickadee-dee-dee was of course easily recognizable.



  1. ADORABLE!!!


    Comment by mitambien — April 13, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

    • He’s still a little fluffed-up after a night in the mid-twenties.


      Comment by montucky — April 13, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

  2. Awww, he does look like he’s chattering at you. I have become fascinated by bird behavior after seeing so many different kinds in the Southwest.


    Comment by Bo Mackison — April 13, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

    • Oh yes, he’s talking. I like to think he is one of many that ate the sunflower seeds that I put out for them all winter.


      Comment by montucky — April 13, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

  3. What a cute bird! Great photo, Dad! I love you!


    Comment by Juls — April 13, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

  4. I always look forward to their “spring soon” call. Funny, we have no chickadees here in Boston. I don’t know why. We have cardinals and mourning doves, woodpeckers etc. But alas no sweet chickadees to greet the day…..


    Comment by Roberta — April 14, 2011 @ 6:31 am

    • I love that call too! Isn’t it strange that you have none of them in that area! They are of the one species that stays here all year and I make sure to keep food out for them in winter. I know they hide food away the rest of the year, but just to be sure…


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2011 @ 9:01 am

  5. You really captured the chickadee in all its glory. I have not been able to get such a good picture as that. I guess I need a longer lens. What lens did you use?


    Comment by marysquilt — April 14, 2011 @ 6:38 am

    • This lens is a Nikon AF-S VR Zoom 70-300mm. The photo was taken at about 25 feet at 300mm.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2011 @ 9:03 am

  6. Very nice.

    The White-crowned sparrows are the stars in my yard’s Spring chorus.


    Comment by anniespickns — April 14, 2011 @ 6:53 am

    • We have them visit in summer too, but they haven’t come in yet this year.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2011 @ 9:04 am

  7. I love the little Chickadees. This is a great capture catching the Chickadee in serious mid-song. 🙂


    Comment by Anna — April 14, 2011 @ 8:06 am

    • The Chickadee is my favorite bird. They are cute, cheerful, friendly and they stay with us all winter.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2011 @ 9:05 am

  8. One of my favorite companions when walking through the woods and around my home. Beautiful portrait for a bird who does not hold still for very long, Terry.


    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — April 14, 2011 @ 9:38 am

    • Thanks Scott. I like to think this is one who has flitted to within a couple feet of me this winter to grab a sunflower seed while I was putting them in the feeding station. They do make very good companions in the woods!


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2011 @ 9:56 am

  9. Hi Montucky, Outstanding! They do look quite a lot like our Carolina Chickadees. Have a wonderful day today!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — April 14, 2011 @ 10:07 am

    • From what I read they are very close in appearance, and the way they are constantly on the move, it would be extremely difficult to tell the difference, although the white on the wings of the Black-capped might make it easier. Strange, that their ranges are so different: I wonder if there are hybrids in the small areas where the two species overlap.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2011 @ 10:21 am

  10. What a little darling!!! Great close-up, Terry!


    Comment by Barbara — April 14, 2011 @ 10:35 am

  11. Yes, I think that is what they are saying. Do you have the mountain chickadee, too? My friend, Christine (Quiet Paths) lives in Montana, too and she has posted both.


    Comment by sandy — April 14, 2011 @ 10:50 am

    • I haven’t noticed mountain chickadees, but I might have just mistaken them for black-capped. We should be within their range.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2011 @ 11:46 am

  12. I always thought they were saying “spring is here”. What a great photo!


    Comment by kateri — April 14, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

    • That could be it too! It is a spring and summer song: I’ve heard it in winter too, although rarely.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

  13. Great capture! You nailed the focus perfectly.


    Comment by Jeff Lynch — April 14, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

  14. Great photo Terry! They are amazing birds! Did you know that they have some very complex calls? They can identify individuals and other flocks of chickadees. They also cache food in hundreds of different sites and can remember a month later where they placed their caches. (No need for a GPS!) I sure enjoy your photos.


    Comment by Maureen — April 14, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

    • Yes, I have read quite a lot about them. They can also lower their body temperature very low to save energy and survive those sub-zero nights.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

  15. Nicely done Terry…I love the entire scene you were able to capture along with the bird !!


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — April 14, 2011 @ 10:03 pm

    • I’ve found that in the early morning a lot of birds stay fairly low to the ground just up the road a bit from my house and I’ve started taking my camera when I take our dog for her walk. This little fellow was just getting his day started and paused just long enough for me to get his photo. He’s sitting on the branches of a chokecherry that is just starting to leaf out.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

  16. Great photo. I really do love Your nature life photos.

    We do not have this species, but Parus major. One of them is staying all the winter somewhere in our garage.


    Comment by sartenada — April 14, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

    • I just looked up an image of Parus major. What a handsome bird! He has a lot of similarities to this one, but much more colorful.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

  17. awww… they and the tufted titmouse are my favorite little birds. your photograph is spectacular!!


    Comment by kcjewel — April 15, 2011 @ 8:38 am

    • I’ve only seen photos of the titmouse. None of the titmice live in our area. I wish they did!


      Comment by montucky — April 15, 2011 @ 8:44 am

  18. The “fee-bee-bee” call of the Black Capped Chickadee, heard in the dead of winter, is the first indication for me that spring is on the way. This year I heard it on January 27th. (Spring has been a bit slow to follow.)


    Comment by Kim — April 15, 2011 @ 9:00 am

    • I’ve heard them do that a few times throughout the winter, which is a little unusual. They are in their nesting time now though, pretty much on schedule. (No one has told them about La Nina.)


      Comment by montucky — April 15, 2011 @ 8:00 pm

  19. BTW, do you ever sell prints of your photos? This is one I’d love to have.


    Comment by Kim — April 15, 2011 @ 9:02 am

    • I have not sold prints, but am considering it for the future. I’ve had a few printed and framed and the results are encouraging so far.


      Comment by montucky — April 15, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

      • Your photos are definitely worthy of being made available more widely. And if you do decide to sell some of them, put me on your emailing list. Thanks.


        Comment by Kim — April 16, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

  20. Precious and adorable. Love it!


    Comment by Stacey Dawn — April 15, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

  21. That’s one cute little fluffy, bright-eyed bird. And great photo! This might have to be my spring desktop, is that okay?


    Comment by Candace — April 15, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

  22. So sweet..and what exquisite detail you captured. Spring is definitely in the air!


    Comment by Marcie — April 16, 2011 @ 6:04 am

    • Spring is in the air, but it’s still tenuous here. We have a little sun but then more drizzle and cold temps. Snow is coming early next week. The chickadees though are nesting just as they always do.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2011 @ 10:09 am

  23. you have such talented friends. he is cute too. great photo


    Comment by silken — April 17, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

  24. Marvelous capture of this little guy… I always think of their song as “chick-a-dee, chick-a-dee, chick-a-dee-dee-dee” which is what I remember from how our father taught us to recognize their song. Haven’t caught the ones that occasionally visit my feeders bursting into song yet!


    Comment by Victoria — April 18, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

    • They have been very busy around here because March and April are their nesting season in this area. The airwaves have been full of their calls.


      Comment by montucky — April 18, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

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