My Little Chickadee

While walking in a local park a while ago, I accidentally discovered that Chickadees will take seeds right out of your hands. We’d been watching a few of them scurry back-and-forth to a seed pile in an old tree stump and for kicks I picked up a couple of seeds and stuck them in my palm. Sure enough two seconds later a bird had snatched up the seed and after it recovered from my surprised squeal, came back looking for more. Sorry dude!

We made a point to search out some song-bird seed from the pet store and we’ve been frequenting said park with pockets bulging with animal food. Fear not squirrels, we wouldn’t forget you!

It is highly amusing to stand there and watch streams of tiny birds flutter at amazing speed to-and-fro, settling on your fingers to pick through to find just the right seed. Yes, they are that picky. “Nope, wrong shape. Too small. Giant peanut bigger than my beak? Sold!”

It is even more amusing to see passers-by who’ve never seen this phenomenon. It is like Tom and I are the bird-whisperers and other park dwellers gawk with amazement, that is until we hand them seeds and tell them to stand really still. We are totally giving away our secrets, but it is fun to watch their delighted expressions as a bird stands alight on their hand for the first time. Like I told one little girl, it’s like you’re Cinderella.

Or in Tom’s case: Cinderfella.


Who had a good point, the more we show people how to do it, the more birds will be fed so it is win-win. Score one for nature.

They are such cute little birds, very endearing and quite charming despite their predilection for scrapping with a chickadee who dares to scoff at the pecking order. We’ve both had full on battles on our hands. Literally.

But cute right?

They’re pretty hard to capture mid-flight, you end up with a lot of empty frames or parts of wings/tails but now and then you get lucky.


We started to even shake it up a little lately. I called this one “bird brain.” Heh.


As I mentioned we wouldn’t forget the furry friends in the park. Though we may be fattening them up for the eagles and hawks we spotted circling the park, the squirrels need food for winter storage too. Most of them are on the shy side in this park which may be a sign of the quality of folks they’ve encountered mixed with the number of dogs that roam the park with a fondness for squirrel chasing. There was a curious red squirrel who eyed the cameras we placed on the eating stump cautiously at first, but came to realize they meant to harm and sat down to feast.

He is seriously cute, cuter than the full-sized squirrels I’m used to anyway.

Cinny was on my lap as I played the video for the first time. She sat enthralled through the whole thing and then started to try to get said squirrel. Luckily I had a camera nearby and shot her reaction, here’s a smidge of it.

She can’t figure out why she can’t touch certain things. This puzzlement happens when she’s sitting on the window-sill as well, watching the big TV that is “outdoors”.

We’re going to try to head out to the park every now and again to keep the birdies strength up through the lean months of winter. Gives a little help to them and gives us fun and entertainment worth far more than the price of admission, the giant bags of seeds sitting in our laundry room I try not to trip over every day.

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2 Responses to My Little Chickadee

  1. sue says:

    Yes you guys are the bird whisperers! We have a whole flock of chickadees (and friends) that live in the shrubs at the north end of our property. They use our pool cover as a bird bath. They flock just outside my kitchen window. They spend the winter feeding at the bird feeders outside of the window on the other side of the kitchen. After viewing your pics, I decided to go out on the deck (between the shrubs and the bird feeders) and try my *hand* at hand feeding. I stood there FOR. EVER. My fingers were frozen. The birds were mocking me from our neighbors on the next block. I finally left the seed on the deck railing and went inside and before I got the door closed, the birds were eating the seed! What is your secret???

    • americanuck says:

      LOL! Well certain birds in the park are used to humans feeding them, but we were also able to coax birds who weren’t. It takes building up trust, you can put down some seed and then stand there by it a slight distance away until they get used to you and know you’re the magic seed lady. Then you can try your hand.

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