Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's Chickadee Fee Bee Time

         Anywhere there are chickadees, people will be familiar with the clear drawn out Fee Bee sound that chickadees make when they are indicting an interest in mating. Alberta has 4 species of chickadees, but the most common one in our area is the black capped chickadee. We have some boreal chickadees and the odd time we will see a mountain chickadee. The other chickadee we have is the chestnut backed chickadee.

       This morning as I was delivering papers at 6:30 AM, a couple of chickadees were doing the fee bee thing and it was a bit of a competition. They also called at the same time so there was a slight harmony. I stood and listened and enjoyed the pleasant morning music. I did not see either bird.

     I have watched chickadees in the same situation. They seem to be saying to any female chickadee who will listen, "Come over here and see my house." I observed this one time as two were calling and a female came by and looked at the first situation. There was fussing by both birds. She then left and went directly to the second bird and looked at his potentials. She also left him. The males seem to pick a nest loction, start excavating a nest cavity and then say, "Oh I need a mate to help me with this."

     All the activity and pleasant sound make for  pleasant part of spring. People who have lived all their lives in chickadee habitat are very familiar with the sound, but maybe not so familiar with all the activity. Next time you hear the pleasant sound take time to see if you can watch what the birds are doing.