Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Portrait of a Boreal Chickadee

 I have been lucky to have seen three types of Chickadees including the Black-capped, Carolina and the Boreal.  Perhaps it is the rounded shape of the chickadee's head and body or the great colors or even the willingness of the chickadee to come close that makes a sighting of any chickadee so enjoyable. Of the three I most enjoy the Boreal Chickadee.
The Boreal Chickadee lives year-round in Newfoundland. For many who come to this province for a "special" birding experience, the Boreal is on their list of target birds. This spring I have found the Boreal at Long Pond, Kent Pond and Bidgood's Park. It was the latter area where I photographed this bird earlier this week. 
The Boreal will often come closer when "phished" to see what is causing the unusual noise. They seem to be in constant motion and it is not easy to catch one just sitting. The rich brown colors of the Boreal and its acrobatic skills cause me to stop and stare every time I see one.
 They eat seeds and insects as well as frequent backyard feeders where they can enjoy suet or sunflower seeds.  By late summer they will begin collecting  seeds and larvae to stash for winter. They may be seen flying to a feeder to grab a seed and fly away. However, it is unlikely that the sunflower seeds are being stashed as it has been found that stashes hold only spruce seeds and insect larvae.
Any sign of chickadees very often results in the sighting of other birds as well. While birds not of a feather don't necessarily flock together, they do seem to stay in close proximity. On the day that I saw these Boreals there were a number of Yellow-rumped Warblers and one Black and White Chickadee fliting around the same area.

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