I’m sitting here on the deck enjoying a beautiful summer evening among the flowers and trees…


…when suddenly it got really noisy. I looked around and was thrilled to see the Black Capped Chickadee had brought the juveniles in for a feeding lesson. The Black Capped is one of my favorite birds because they have this great ritual. Momma arrives…peeps a few notes…and suddenly 3-4 young come flying in…all the while chirping and peeping in constant conversation with mom. Then she moves to another tree….calls them over and the noise continues. These gorgeous birds will do this all the way around the house and yard, moving from tree to shrub to tree, learning how each spot offers different feeding opportunities.


I’ve lived here for 10 years now and learned this behavior much the way the young fledglings have learned it…by watching mom and listening…or so I thought.

Recent studies have found that these birds have a language far more elaborate than we ever imagined and the young are not just learning by following and imitating mom…they are actually talking!



6 responses to “Birdbrain!

  1. as usual, beautiful photos, and they are comforting for this displaced gardener in far off land of Spo.

  2. The beautiful shot of the Chickadee is not my photo. I found it here: and highly recommend this site for Nature Photos.

    The other shot….obviously mine. Note the poor perspective.

    Thanks for the kind note though Michael.

  3. AAahh, my eye spies the lovely vanilla-scented heliotrope, sweet potato vine (don’t you love that bright lime green color?), and a fellow lover of those crazy coleus. Lovely post. We have chickadees, too, in our garden, but I tend to be a fan of the bush tits, and how they fly in as a massive group together. Everytime they appear, I say out loud, “Here come the troops!”

  4. Hey guy do you have any photoblogs as well, you are one talented man.

  5. Derek – Thanks for the kind words. I’m not much of a photographer but I am a bit anal retentive when it comes to posting potos. I have a flickr account with some photos at but I tend to only post the photos I use on my blog.

  6. chickadees!!! i love them too. saw your post about it being 60 where you live over at joemygod. had to confirm that it’s true. i am insanely jealous. my garden has burned to a crisp. like your stuff.

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