Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Photographing the Beauty of the Black-capped Chickadee : Such a Little Charmer

Among the many birds there are to photograph, it is easy to see
why the Black-capped Chickadee is a favorite for so many people.
A very distinguished black cap and bib make the chickadee a striking bird, no doubt.
But it is not just it's appearance that makes this little beauty so appealing,
it has an upbeat chirpy disposition to match. This combination of visual appeal
and personality make it a joy to both watch and photograph. The photos
in this blog were taken in backyards or parks of Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

A Little Black-capped Beauty 101
I think this bird is quite the charmer sporting a tough yet graceful
disposition. I wanted to capture the effortless grace and strength
I see in the Black-capped Chickadee so getting close was a priority.

I found that pretty much any woodland or forest edge is a common,
yet perfect place to see this enchanting little fellow. Early Morning and late
evening walks tend to be the prime times to see them searching for food.

Because of their curious nature you can easily attract the
Black-capped Chickadee to your backyard by providing
their favorite snacks of sunflower seeds, peanuts and suets.
If you provide it ... they will come. Backyards supply a
perfect backdrop or background for photographing birds.

The photo above was taken in a friends backyard in Wisconsin.
Doesn't he look like a bully on the power line? He wasn't. I watched
this chickadee wait patiently for it's turn at the feeder today.

Another friend's yard in Wisconsin was the hot spot for many songbirds.
Today a Black-capped Chickadee just finished taking a refreshing bath.

I was standing directly under this chickadee and noticed the sunlight
showcasing the beauty of it's angelic tail. Bird looking down, camera
pointing up, sunlight cooperating. Click, click, click.
One of my favorite things about this bird is the white edging
on the tail, especially in the sunlight. It appears almost transparent
in the picture above, giving that 'enchanted' feeling to the moment.
I think of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs every time I look at this
photo, this memory. Corny? Well yes, but I'm not hanging my head. I am proud
to let my inner little girl out to express herself. Life is just better that way.
This reminiscent feeling I experienced made this capture a special one for me.

When I took this shot I was standing under another tree canopied
with leaves. I was happy to see the effect of the moment I was in
was captured in this photo.

The Chickadee hops up, down and all around trees, on and under
their branches looking for insects and their eggs to eat.

And eat, eat, eat they do. They eat berries and seeds in addition
to many insects. They seem to love caterpillars, millipedes and spiders.
In the bottom right photo of the quartet above, the chickadee
holds a seed with it's feet on a branch while hammering
the seed with it's beak to open it.

Captured above ... just one of the typical smooth moves the agile
chickadee preforms at any given moment.
With it's eye on the prize it momentarily hangs upside down
on a branch while searching for food. I love this shot.

The Black-capped Chickadee nests in cavities. Here they are
excavating a new cavity, but often use a woodpecker's old cavity to nest in.
Photos above taken in the Northern Illinois University Lagoon area.

It is said that the Chickadee is one of the easiest to train to eat from the hand.
It is more than a wonderful feeling to have this bird come to your hand to feed.
This experience should be on everyone's bucket list.
While visiting my sister in Michigan this summer, I was lucky
enough to enjoy and experience the soft touch, and brave character
of the beautiful Black-capped Chickadee in addition to
photographing the little charmer .

Visit my Smugmug gallery to see more Black-capped Beauty and charm.


  1. I am glad you RT my blogpost..so that I could find you and your blog.
    Nice photos!

  2. Thanks for coming by my blog & following - your series on the BCCH is very comprehensive - good photos!