Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

November 3, 2013

Chickadees: The feathered small boy of birds

(Continued)

In “Birds of America,” the black-capped chickadee is described as “frolicking and frisking from tree to tree, happy and carefree.” I’ve seen all four species of chickadee, and they all act that way throughout the day.

Only in heavy rain or snow, or in strong wind at night are chickadees still. And when one is incubating a clutch of eggs.

Chickadees have to be active when they’re awake. Their metabolism is high, and they’re so little they have little fat reserve. They eat incessantly when awake, acquiring energy at about the same rate they’re using it. At night, and during severe weather when they are forced to be inactive, their metabolism slows and they become sluggish and torpid.

Black-capped and Carolina chickadees are common feeder birds. They don’t crowd a feeder like house sparrows and house finches, mourning doves, grackles and starlings. They fly back and forth between a feeder and the branches of nearby trees and bushes.

Food habit studies, however, have shown that their primary food is insects and small spiders. When flitting about among the leaves or the bare branches in winter, they’re feeding like warblers, gleaning insects, insect larvae or eggs.

Seeds are supplemental food. The percentage of seeds eaten increases in winter, as would be expected and as any bird feeder observer can tell if he or she counts chickadees coming to a feeder.

Count chickadees! Sure, and when you’ve managed to do that, count snowflakes the next time it snows. Counting snowflakes might even be easier if it isn’t snowing heavily, because the snowflakes will all be falling, not whisking up and down or back and forth.

Chickadees nest in cavities, in deserted downy woodpecker holes, natural cracks and crevices in trees, in bird houses that aren’t occupied by house wrens, house sparrows or other birds. Being last in line for cavity nest sites, it hardly seems possible that chickadees can be among our most common woodland and feeder birds. I’d prove they are, if only they’d sit still and let me count them.

Text Only
Sports
  • Cycling Tour de France.jpg Tour de France heads to Pyrenees in Stage 16

    CARCASSONNE, France — Vincenzo Nibali is in the yellow jersey as the Tour de France peloton set off on the longest stage, into the Pyrenees.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN0420 harness racing Harness racing a popular attraction at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair

    There is no question about the popularity of the three-day harness racing program at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. Large crowds of knowledgeable fans are on hands for the races, something the drivers are very grateful for.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mexico Rodriguez Madrid.jpg James Rodriguez signs 6-year deal with Real Madrid

    MADRID — After scoring the most goals of any player at the World Cup, Colombia forward James Rodriguez signed a six-year deal with Real Madrid on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bills Dareus Football_Selm.jpg Travel delays push back Dareus' return to Bills

    PITTSFORD, N.Y.  — Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus' return to training camp has been postponed because of travel delays.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140721 fair parade road run 04 Two families bring three generations to Parade 5,000 GOSHEN — Family time at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair took on a whole new meaning Sunday during the 33rd annual Parade 5,000.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • Former GC basketball star signs deal in China Former Goshen College basketball player Errick McCollum II has signed a deal with Chinese team Zhejiang Chouzhou Bank, he confirmed to The Goshen News Sunday.The signing comes just shortly after McCollum played for the Denver Nuggets in the NBA’s Las

    July 21, 2014

  • APTOPIX Cycling Tour de France [THE GOSHEN NEWS] Norway's Kristoff wins 15th stage NIMES, France — Almost at the line, Jack Bauer and Martin Elmiger were exhausted but could see it coming — their first Tour de France stage victory. Those last 50 meters, however, got in the way.A bunch of sprinters leading the pack came speeding lik

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC Kickoff Florida State Football [THE GOSHEN NEWS] ACC riding wave of buzz from FSU's title GREENSBORO, N.C. — It’s been a while since the Atlantic Coast Conference entered a season with this much buzz.The realigned league has the defending national champion, a Heisman Trophy winner and a national coach of the year.The ACC stumbled through

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • IndyCar Toronto -9 [THE GOSHEN NEWS] Bourdais, Conway win in IndyCar doubleheader TORONTO — IndyCar ran two races in Toronto on Sunday, where rain wreaked havoc on both the schedule and driver strategy. The series had planned to run one race Saturday and one on Sunday until rain washed out the first event. It instead began Sunday

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • British Open Golf-36 [THE GOSHEN NEWS] McIlroy wins British Open for 3rd major HOYLAKE, England — Walking off the 18th green as the British Open champion, Rory McIlroy kept gazing at all the greats on golf's oldest trophy. On the claret jug, his name is etched in silver below Phil Mickelson. In the record book, he is listed beh

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results