Sunday, July 17, 2016

Black-capped Chickadee at Seward Park in Seattle

Today's bird is not a regular in California, though it is reported sometimes in the extreme north of the state. The Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) ranges across North America, but mostly in the northern tier of states and Canada as well as Alaska. Obviously, then, I'm not in California. We were at Seward Park on Lake Washington in Seattle. The bird is common up this way, but it's the first time I've ever seen one.

The Cornell bird site describes the species as curious and unafraid of humans, which seemed true enough, seeing as how this one allowed me to take pictures in fairly close quarters (I was about 10-12 feet away). For such small-brained creatures, they have extraordinary mind power, being able to accurately store the location of thousands of hidden seeds in their memories. They also have complex calls that resemble language, used in identification of different flocks and the presence of predators.

And they are cute...

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