April 1, 2010
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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.