credit: R. D. Symons. (1967). Hours and the Birds. A Saskatchewan Record. p. 161

Black-Capped Chickadee

Recently, Regina chose an official bird: the Black-capped Chickadee! There was a contest; six birds were proposed and defended by “champion” people. Although there was some “scuttlebutt” voting, the Chickadee won!

Public Submission

By Barry A. Mitschke

April 11, 2024

On May 8, 2022, at 10:32 am, I was sitting in my back coulee watching the birds. Chickadees were around, but I noticed one flying to and from a dead poplar tree. Sure enough, about 12 feet up, the bird had created a hole leading inside. The bird was carrying nesting stuff in its mouth and made many trips. This nesting date was earlier than Calin reported below. Again, serendipity had it: the right place at the right time with a ready iPhone camera!

Chickadees are common, permanent residents of the Qu'Appelle Valley. It is well worth the effort to set up a bird feeder for the winter in order to attract these little, acrobatic birds weighing about 10 grams (less than ½ ounce). Their favourite feeder food is sunflower seeds, which they grab, hold with their feet, and pound with their sharp bills to get at the "meat." They also like peanut butter with cornmeal and/or suet, and doughnuts. (If you have a feeder, always keep it stocked since all birds come to rely on that source of food.) In the wild, they eat a variety of wild things while searching their habitat: insect eggs and larvae in the tree bark; caterpillars, moths, spiders, beetles, aphids, millipedes, snails, seeds from conifers; and, wild fruit such as saskatoons and poison ivy berries. While they feed, especially in the surrounding shrubs or trees, they will perform their quick and extraordinary postures — now right side up, then upside down, and even sideways as they assume every imaginable position. These agile, cheerful, bright-eyed birds are one of Nature's little wonders.

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