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Cute & Friendly
One of my favorite birds has always been the Black-Capped Chickadee. They are cute friendly birds, that are very wary. Keeping an eye on the Chickadee can clue you in on other things happening around you. An example of this is, in the wintertime before a big snowstorm, Chickadees will flock to your bird feeder. They do this to feed before the snow covers their food. Another thing they do is clear out if bigger birds are on the approach. Enjoy and learn from the Chickadee they are one of nature’s great story tellers.
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LOOK, LISTEN & PAY ATTENTION.
When bird watching there are some things that will help you in identifying what you just saw.
First what size was it? Sparrow, Robin, Crow, Mallard, or Heron?
What color was it? Black and white, brown with stripes on its head, yellow with gray on its wings, or blue and black?
What was it doing? Was it on the ground, in a tree, at your feeder, flying, or swimming?
These couple of things will help you narrow down what you saw. Size, color, and activity are crucial in determining what the bird is. Some birds don’t like to be down low; others do. Some birds eat bugs, others eat seeds. The more you pay attention to all the details of what you saw, will help you identify your newfound bird.
As you look and see more things you will find that you will understand more things and in turn you will see more things. You will learn new behaviors of different types of birds. And then you’ll be hooked! Happy Watching!
Resources to get started...
Identify the birds you see or hear with Merlin Bird ID Free global bird guide with photos, sounds, maps, and more.
Northern Wisconsin Species...
Courtesy of AllAboutBirds.org
Black-throated Blue Warbler
A uniquely colored, midnight-blue bird of tangled understories, the male Black-throated Blue Warbler sings a relaxed, buzzy I-am-so-la-zee on warm summer days in Eastern hardwood forests. He’s aptly named, with a midnight blue back, sharp white belly, and black throat. The olive-brown females, while not as dramatically marked as the males, have a unique white square on the wing that readily separates them from other female warblers. This warbler breeds in the East and spends the winter in the Caribbean.
Male and female Black-throated Blue Warblers look so different that they were originally described as two different species.
In the Dominican Republic, Black-throated Blue Warblers take advantage of a sweet treat created by insects harvesting tree sap. These insects feed on tree sap and excrete drops of sweet sap or "honeydew" from their back ends that the warblers drink up.
A tiny bird seemingly overflowing with energy, the Ruby-crowned Kinglet forages almost frantically through lower branches of shrubs and trees. Its habit of constantly flicking its wings is a key identification clue. Smaller than a warbler or chickadee, this plain green-gray bird has a white eyering and a white bar on the wing. Alas, the male’s brilliant ruby crown patch usually stays hidden—your best chance to see it is to find an excited male singing in spring or summer.
The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is a tiny bird that lays a very large clutch of eggs—there can be up to 12 in a single nest. Although the eggs themselves weigh only about a fiftieth of an ounce, an entire clutch can weigh as much as the female herself.
Ruby-crowned Kinglets seem nervous as they flit through the foliage, flicking their wings nearly constantly. Keeping an eye out for this habit can be a useful aid to identifying kinglets.
A bird almost universally considered “cute” thanks to its oversized round head, tiny body, and curiosity about everything, including humans. The chickadee’s black cap and bib; white cheeks; gray back, wings, and tail; and whitish underside with buffy sides are distinctive. Its habit of investigating people and everything else in its home territory, and quickness to discover bird feeders, make it one of the first birds most people learn.
The Black-capped Chickadee hides seeds and other food items to eat later. Each item is placed in a different spot and the chickadee can remember thousands of hiding places.
Chickadee calls are complex and language-like, communicating information on identity and recognition of other flocks as well as predator alarms and contact calls. The more dee notes in a chickadee-dee-dee call, the higher the threat level.