The Bug Geek

Insects. Doing Science. Other awesome, geeky stuff.


These guys were just too funny.

I was out and about at the Bird Sanctuary.  I passed first over a long, lichen-encrusted boardwalk that stretched across a lovely cattail mash.  The red-winged blackbirds and grackles strutted and argued, and I heard the distinctive cry of a red-tailed hawk overhead.   Then the trail lead through a small thicket of maple trees.  It was there that they first appeared:  about a dozen black-capped chickadees, seemily vying for the best vantage from which to observe my actions.


They perched a mere arms’ length away and peered at me.  Occasionally one would swoop at me for a closer look, all fluttering wings and curiosity, without a hint of aggression or defensive behaviour.  They didn’t stir when I raised my arms to point my camera at them.   

Thinking it was a fluke, I stood like a statue and observed them for some time. Then, wanting to continue my explorations, I carried on down the trail. When I next paused to take a closer look at a tree, I found myself once again surrounded by little black-headed birds. This time one flew to the ground and hopped right up to my feet. I laughed.

Later on, in the forest, I paused to roll a log nestled in fall leaves. No sooner had I removed my hand from the log, when another Chickadee swooped out of nowhere and perched upon it. I rather fancied that he cocked his head to better see the dark earth and wriggling things below.

Honest to goodness, it was like having small children tagging along for the journey, endearingly pestering with questions: “Whatcha doing?”  “What’s that?”  I know Chickadees are normally not terribly shy around humans, but this cheeky group took it to another level. It totally cracked me up.

12 responses to “Cheek-adees

  1. Ted C. MacRae April 1, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    Too funny. You got some really nice shots – I like the 2nd one.

  2. mthew April 1, 2010 at 9:20 PM

    Sometimes the smallest birds are the boldest.

  3. jason April 2, 2010 at 7:05 AM

    Oh, they’re such a pleasure. Curious, brave, tolerant. Full of verve and energy, too. And your comparison to tag-along children is the best!

  4. peteryeeles April 2, 2010 at 7:44 AM

    Cute little fellas. Nice when you get to actually interact with wildlife, as opposed to just observing it.

  5. Rebecca April 30, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    That’s amazing! I love the curiosity of chickadees and titmice. Lately it seems every time I go for a walk a titmouse will show up in the low branches directly over my head, clearly watching me and wondering what I’m up to. I never get tired of interacting with them.

    • TGIQ May 2, 2010 at 8:35 AM

      It was great fun. Even the ‘dees in my backyard are nearly that bold. I got one to take seed off my hand this winter. Fearless little things!

  6. Joy K. May 1, 2010 at 8:43 PM

    It’s great when the birds’ actions say “We are SO not afraid of you!”

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