Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Black-capped Chickadee

When we head south on our various winter trips, in order to escape the frozen Northland, we try to drive about as far as we can. This usually means we aim for Andover, Kansas, about ten hours south of Northfield. Nevertheless, this marathon drive does not always guarantee freedom from icy roads.

This year our escape was successful. The next morning, 12 March 2015, Erika and I took a short stroll. Chickadees greeted us. At first I assumed these must be Carolina Chickadees, and eBird did not warn me that the range of the Black-capped Chickadee dips into most of Kansas. Sibley’s guideshows that the Carolina barely ventures north into the state.

I was uneasy about the amount of white on the edges of the flight feathers—too much for most Carolinas. Then a bird started to call, “Chick-a-dee, Chick-a-dee-dee!” This call was typical of a Black-capped Chickadee; Carolinas usually sing five to seven “dees” at their call’s end.

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