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Poecile atricapillus


Cute bird eating a beetle.


Nesting in my wall.


The chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) is a small, nonmigratory, North American songbird that lives in deciduous and mixed forests. It is a passerine bird in the tit family Paridae. It is the state bird of Massachusetts and of Maine in the United States, and the provincial bird of New Brunswick in Canada. It is well known for its capability to lower its body temperature during cold winter nights as well as its good spatial memory to relocate the caches where it stores food, and its boldness near humans (sometimes feeding from the hand). The vocalizations of the chickadee are highly complex. Thirteen distinct types of vocalizations have been classified, many of which are complex and can communicate different types of information. Chickadees' complex vocalizations are likely an evolutionary adaptation to their habitat: they live and feed in dense vegetation, and even when the flock is close together, individual birds tend to be out of each other's visual range. One of the most recognizable sounds produced, particularly by the males, is the two-note hey sweetie song. It is a simple, clear whistle of two notes, identical in rhythm, the first roughly a whole-step above the second.The range of frequencies at which this song starts from varies; the complete frequency range spans roughly 1 kHz. Within this range male chickadees can sing at various tones. The average starting frequency is approximately 4000 Hz. A decrease of roughly 200 Hz occurs when the first note (hey) is sung, and then another decrease of approximately 400 Hz takes place between the end of swee and the beginning of tie. In spite of these multiple changes infrequency, though, anybody listening to the song only hears a pure high-frequency tone. There are a number of other calls and sounds that these chickadees make, such as a gargle noise usually used by males to indicate a threat of attacking another male, often when feeding. This call is also used in sexual contexts. Insects (especially caterpillars and spiders) form a large part of their diet in summer. The birds hop along tree branches searching for food, sometimes hanging upside down or hovering; they may make short flights to catch insects in the air. Seeds and berries become more important in winter, though insect eggs and pupae remain on the menu. Black oil sunflower seeds are readily taken from bird feeders. The birds take a seed in their beak and commonly fly from the feeder to a tree, where they proceed to hammer the seed on a branch to open it. Like many other species in the family Paridae, chickadees commonly cache food, mostly seeds but sometimes insects also. At bird feeders, chickadees tolerate human approach to a much greater degree than other species do. In fact, during the winter, many individuals accustomed to human habitation will readily accept seed from a person's hand. On cold winter nights, these birds can reduce their body temperature by as much as 10 to 12 °C (from their normal temperature of about 42 °C) to conserve energy. Such a capacity for torpor is not very common in birds. Other bird species capable of torpor include the swift Apus apus, the whipoorwill Phalaenoptilus nuttallii, the nighthawk Chordeiles acutipennis, and various species of hummingbirds. -Wikipedia

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1 Comment

Kalen 3 years ago

chickadees are cute

Spotted by

Eugene, Oregon, United States

Spotted on May 27, 2020
Submitted on May 27, 2020

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