I spent some time yesterday morning observing, photographing and enjoying the songs and calls of Black-capped Chickadees in a high mountain canyon, chickadees always bring a smile to my lips and yesterday was no exception.
Bedraggled Black-capped Chickadee on a Common Mullein – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 1250, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
One of the Black-capped Chickadees I photographed looked rather bedraggled because some of the feathers on its head, neck and back were messy, I suppose that could be from molting or perhaps it hadn’t finished preening after bathing in a nearby seep. It was busy feeding on a Common Mullein and although the bird is small in the frame I liked the background because of the flowers and greenery.
Black-capped Chickadee on a Serviceberry – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 1250, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Later I had the opportunity to photograph a Black-capped Chickadee that landed on a serviceberry very close to me and I jumped at the chance to photograph it as it looked towards me while I sat in a “mobile blind”.
I could have and should have decreased my ISO, I had turned the ISO up earlier in the morning because of low light and had forgotten to reset it to a lower setting but with my Nikon D500 I don’t worry much about unwanted noise at ISO 1250 anyway.
Calling Black-capped Chickadee – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 1250, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
The Black-capped Chickadee called several times while it perched on the serviceberry shrub and although I was focused on taking images of the bird I loved hearing it call too.
You can listen to the calls and song of a Black-capped Chickadee here.
Black-capped Chickadee about to take flight – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 1250, -0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I took about 50 images of the Black-capped Chickadee before it flew off and I was happy with the quality of most of them. Time spent with a chickadee is always great, the photos I take are a bonus.
Speaking of great… I saw a female Moose yesterday in the same general area as I photographed this chickadee and she had two calves! I sure wish they had been out in the open instead of buried deep in tall grasses, those calves looked adorable.
Life is good.
A few facts about Black-capped Chickadees:
- Black-capped Chickadees have black caps, white cheeks, short, thin black bills, gray backs and wings with buffy underparts.
- Black-capped Chickadees are nonmigratory.
- Black-capped Chickadees are found from Alaska south to northern California then as far east as Newfoundland and south to the Atlantic States. Black-capped Chickadees prefer deciduous and mixed forests, open woodlands and suburban areas.
- Black-capped Chickadees eat insects, insect eggs, seeds, berries and fruits.
- Black-capped Chickadees lay 5 to 10 eggs which hatch in 11 to 13 days. The female incubates and they are monogamous.
- A group of chickadees can be called a “banditry” or a “dissimulation” of chickadees.
- Black-capped Chickadees can live up to 12 years of age.