Chicadee

About the chicadee

Migration season is here in some parts of the country and an array of unique birds and warblers will be flying into your area. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about those birds that have been around all year. Yes, I’m taking about chickadees.

Chickadees are surprisingly interesting birds that many people take for granted. Here are 10 reasons why you shouldn’t.

1. There are seven chickadee species that breed in North America, all of which have the distinctive dark cap and bin with white cheeks. However, Black-capped Chickadees, Carolina Chickadees and Mountain Chickadees are the most common.

2. These small birds can live a relatively long life. The oldest banded Black-capped Chickadee in the wild lived 12 years and 5 month while the oldest banded Carolina Chickadee in the wild lived 10 years and 11 months.

Chicadee

3. The Black-capped Chickadee is the state bird of Maine and Massachusetts.

5. If you’ve ever listened to a chickadee’s call very closely, you’ll notice that sometimes there is only one dee at the end of the chick-a-dee and other times there are multiple ones at the end. there is actually a code to the number of dees. One dee indicates that there is no threat, but five dees at the end of the call could indicate that there’s a Northern Pygmy Owl in the vicinity.

Tufted Titmouse

About the tufted titmouse

Male and female Tufted Titmice are identical in plumage – a black patch above the beak, a gray back, rusty flanks and a dull white breast. Their large eyes are surrounded by a white ring that reaches to their beak.

The most telling part of the Tufted Titmouse is its namesake – the pointed tuft of feathers that juts from the back of the bird’s head. This tuft gives them a cheery appearance and makes them a welcome sight at any feeder.

Tufted Titmouse

As a chickadee-like bird, a Tufted Titmouse is relatively small – rarely measuring more than 6 inches long. It has a thick neck, which gives it a squashed appearance and adds to their general cuteness.

Most Tufted Titmice live to be a little more than 2 years old, though some as old as 13 years have been recorded.

Tufted Titmice seem to love water, preferring deciduous woodlands near swamps, moist flood plains and river basins. They have also grown accustomed to suburban life, taking up the habitats provided by parks and other wooded residential and suburban areas.

This titmouse is also among the first to respond to predator warnings from other birds, often grouping with other birds to observe and mob the potential troublemaker. You have to love a bird that stands up to bullies!

American Robin

American Robin Facts

  • An American Robin can produce three successful broods in one year. On average, though, only 40 percent of nests successfully produce young. Only 25 percent of those fledged young survive to November. From that point on, about half of the robins alive in any year will make it to the next. Despite the fact that a lucky robin can live to be 14 years old, the entire population turns over on average every six years.
  • Although robins are considered harbingers of spring, many American Robins spend the whole winter in their breeding range. But because they spend more time roosting in trees and less time in your yard, you’re much less likely to see them. The number of robins present in the northern parts of the range varies each year with the local conditions.
  • Robins eat a lot of fruit in fall and winter. When they eat honeysuckle berries exclusively, they sometimes become intoxicated.
  • Robin roosts can be huge, sometimes including a quarter-million birds during winter. In summer, females sleep at their nests and males gather at roosts. As young robins become independent, they join the males. Female adults go to the roosts only after they have finished nesting.
  • Robins eat different types of food depending on the time of day: more earthworms in the morning and more fruit later in the day. Because the robin forages largely on lawns, it is vulnerable to pesticide poisoning and can be an important indicator of chemical pollution.
  • The oldest recorded American Robin was 13 years and 11 months old.
American Robin
Male Cardinal

Facts about Male Cardinals

1. Though the males are bright red year-round, cardinals can be hard to spot. They prefer to hang out in dense shrubs, and then tangled branches block the view of their feathers. Still, you can know if a cardinal is near by listening for their metallic, piercing chip notes of their song.

Male Cardinal

2. Cardinals are very territorial and males will defend their zone from intruders — or even reflections. This is why you may have experienced a male cardinal attacking a window or mirror. The males, and even sometimes females during breeding season, will attack what they think is an intruder, but really it’s their own reflection.

3. The cardinal is such a beloved bird that it has been named the state bird of seven states, including Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. It is also the mascot for countless sports teams.