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Four Chickadees frozen in time are painted with the soft grey palette of winter.
 

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Black-capped Chickadee, Poecile atricapillus

A watercolor wash of wings in motion.
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Flit in. Flit out.

One seed grabbed to be cached for later.
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Flit in. Flit out.

One seed grabbed to be hammered open now, on a favorite branch.
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Chickadees remember the locations of their many winter caches for almost a month. I must make a written list daily.
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'chick-a-dee-dee-dee'

Chickadee calls are astonishingly complex. The little socialists communicate information to all birds that may be listening, about food sources, predator threats and group movement. A recent study shows that the number of alarmed 'dees' and shortened intervals between 'chick' and 'dees', give grave warning to 'scatter the seeds and fly like hell'.

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Chickadees weigh as much as a large teaspoon of sunflower seeds. On cold winter nights they survive by dropping their body temperature 10 or 12°C below their normal body temperature to conserve energy. Few birds have the capacity for torpor.  

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Incoming!
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'chick-a-dee-dee-dee'
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'fee-bee'   'fee-bee'
Females also sing! Occasionally.
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Best wishes from Wisconsin and good winter birding to all.

Originally posted to Wild Notebook on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:31 PM PST.

Also republished by Backyard Science, Birds and Birdwatching, and Badger State Progressive.

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