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Black-capped Chickadee. Our cheerful neighbour in these tough times

April 28, 2020

We have been blessed this tough COVID-19 spring with a small dose of joy by the embodiment of cheerfulness, a pair of Black-capped Chickadees. They have finally taken up residence on our balcony. And that’s something as we are about 8 metres off the ground in the top floor of a three story house. But our balcony is a bit of a bird paradise, despite my frequent birding sorties onto it. There are two plastic containers of fresh water, a feeder of cracked sunflower seeds, and a nyger feeder, plus lots of trees very close, so its actually a great place for birds. I put the nest box up five years ago. Outside of a few birds poking their head in, no one occupied it until about 10 days ago when we started being woken by a male Chickadee singing outside our window its FEE BEE song starting about an hour before sunrise. I’ve never experienced such an early bird Chickadee like that in my life. Cardinals yes. Robins yes, but Chickadees? This coincided with a few days of insomnia, so I clearly heard the first birds, and our very big-voiced Chickadee was ahead of the neighbourhood Robin most mornings! Then we caught a glimpse of somebody leaving the nest box about 5 days ago, and we were onto them. They have brought so much soft fluffy stuff  to make what must be the most comfy nest imaginable. . . moss, cotton, cattail fluff, bits of plant flowers, a bit of pink insulation to get the right R factor, and other soft things I couldn’t identify. So, here are a couple of videos, thanks to this trail camera from Nature Canada, that show our early bird Chickadees entering and leaving their cozy home about 30 minutes before sunrise.



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