Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My beloved chickadees

I have really tried to make a conscious decision as to whether I have a favorite bird and the truth is I don't.  It seems like I do have a favorite bird of the day depending on what incredible experiences I have had that day with a particular bird.  But regardless, I am in love with Chickadees. 
While reading one of my National Wildlife magazine last night I came across an article about Chickadees written in 1991.  I learned some fascinating facts that I thought I would share with you.  
While nearly 1/2 of North American birds migrate south the Chickadee winters over in the north.  
1. A Chickadee needs 20 times more food in the winter than it does in the summer.

2. In mild winters Chickadees must eat 150 sunflower seeds a day.

3. When temps drop to zero the Chickadee must eat 250 sunflower seeds a day.

4. In winter Chickadees often band together with Titmice, White Breasted Nuthatches, Brown Creepers and Downy Woodpeckers.  This is an uncommon phenomenon among birds.  This allows them to find food more efficiently than Chickadees do alone. 
5. It is believed that Chickadees drop their body temperature nearly 20 degrees at night to conserve energy.

6. In winter a Chickadees plumage is 30 percent thicker.

7. Chickadees can shiver.  This turns energy into heat, but the energy must soon be replaced or the bird will die. 

8. A chickadees bill is like a horn and is not sensitive to cold.

9. A chickadees feet are sensitive to cold.  To warm their feet they pull up one at a time into their breast feathers or sometimes sit on their feet.
10. More than 70 percent of all young Chickadees are not alive one year after they hatch.  Most die during their first month of life, some are victims of predation, starvation, and expose to the cold.  

But the fact that any live to greet the spring is an amazing story of survival!     


Betsy from Tennessee said...

How interesting Jessica... I love Chickadees also... They are regulars at our feeders.

Thanks again.

Margaret said...

I'll be thinking of these things while sipping my morning coffee and looking out back at the chickadees on my feeder. Thank you.

Shellmo said...

The chickadees are definitely in my top 5 favorites! We are setting up several nesting boxes for them this spring.

Pigeon said...

I went outside yesterday in the warmish weather to sweep off my front porch. There was a little chickadee near by who was chirping at me. I think he was saying "get off the porch so I can get back to the feeder!"

Jen said...

Thanks for sharing this, now I am all the more happier that I decided to warm their bellies. :)