Chickadee

It was cold this morning… in the single digits. I looked out the window as usual, and noticed the sunflower seed feeders were both empty. We try to feed just the chickadees and nuthatches. I bought the tube type feeders with the perches that make it difficult for big birds to get any seeds. It worked for a while on the Bluejays, but they eventually specialized such that experts among them can contort themselves into the right position to get some seeds.

This morning when I grabbed the feeders and took them inside for filling, I thought I’d try to feed the birds by hand. Our chickadees are pretty tame in that they stay quite near while I’m out there, but they seldom will take seeds from my hands, even when I stand still and open handed for 15 minutes or so.

This morning was different. Perhaps because it was so cold and they were hungry. I was honored to have one after another of the little birds land on my outstretched hand and take a seed. They then flew off to their favorite perch and hammered the shell open to get at the seed inside. I’ll bet I had a dozen confirmed landings before my hand got cold and I filled their feeders and went inside. It is fortunate that a smiling face does not intimidate them, because mine would have caused a few nervous breakdowns.

If there is a greater feeling in the world than winning the trust of these noble birds, I’d like to know about it.

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