Driftless Prairies: Native Habitat Restoration

Nature inspires awe!

Black-capped Chickadee

These guys are known as the “leaders of the pack.” When you see one, you can be sure there are other birds coming after him, so if you’re out birdwatching, keep your binoculars focused! Chickadees are the more thoroughly studied of our birds. I read an article recently that put into focus how much they weigh. It’s hard to grasp what 0.4 ounces means unless you work with weights regularly, but knowing a chickadee weighs about the same a 12 paperclips puts it into a perspective most of us are familiar with.

The other thing I love about these birds is their “Hey Sweetie” song. When I’m outside, I’m just certain they are calling endearments to me!!!

We love having these birds around all year. Unlike other birds similar in size, chickadees have denser plumage, which helps them to stay warm in these northern climes during the winter months. Also, unlike other birds, except the Tufted Titmouse, Chickadees have a physiological response in the autumn and winter. Because they cache their food during these colder months, they need lots of memory. As such, their brains become larger, most specifically, their hippocampus enlarges; this is the area of the brain that is responsible for memory.

You can hear their song at Wisconsin Bird Sounds and get more info at All About Birds