Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Carolina Chickadee Baby

On the way to the mailbox, I see movement in an azalea and look what I see!  He's tiny, about - oh - three inches long?  Really small.


He looks at me but doesn't fly away. I grab the mail and go back inside for the camera.  I come back, without my dog this time, and kneel down to see him. I wonder if he's hurt, really hoping he isn't, and see that he doesn't appear to be.  We regard each other for what seems like a very long time.


Then, maybe he's tired of the camera-clicking stranger, or just hungry, but he calls for assistance. I walk away to give him some space. Soon, a mother chickadee flies down and chirp-chirp-chirps at him. He hops a few feet away into another azalea and she flies to a nearby branch, still giving instructions.

~*~

The day before I found a chickadee in my azalea, I had gotten a newsletter from Birdhouse on the Greenway describing "hoppers" which are young birds just learning to fly, hopping along on the ground while they test their wings.  Don't worry about them; they don't need help back into the nest, the newsletter said.  It went on to suggest keeping your cats and dogs away, but to otherwise leave them alone and let them hop, that mothers are often nearby and if you wait, you might see them check on their baby or even bring him food.  



16 comments:

  1. That's so cool, Daricia! So glad you got to experience this first-hand. I've seen it with Robins most frequently, and once with Cardinals...but never with a Chickadee!!!! Great shots of the baby:)

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  2. thanks, jan! i was so excited! it really was cool, especially since i had JUST read the newsletter describing exactly what i would be seeing the very next day! how's that for timing??

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  3. You can see the fluffy down feathers on this little hopper. Super pictures!

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    1. thanks, janet! it would have been nice to have something in the photo that indicated scale a little better, but it was thrilling to be able to get so close and watch him for so long!

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  4. So sweet! Our baby Chicadees look like they are almost ready to fledge. I saw a baby sparrow hopping on the ground near our garage and making lots of noise. I felt so bad for it but we decided just to leave it. After reading your post I am glad we did. I am sure mama bird found it.

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    1. karin, i'm glad the info helped you, too! i was glad to be able to pass that along.

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  5. Oh! Great Photos! What a cute little baby! Just adorable!

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    1. thanks, lucy! i think we're just wired to think they're cute and adorable, aren't we? i loved seeing him.

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  6. What great chickadee photos. One of the best parts about gardening is the intimate glimpse we get into nature. I just discovered a baby cardinal on the ground Friday. He kept looking plaintively up into the tree, but it was time for his few days of "hopping" on the ground before flight. Looking forward to meeting you in Asheville next week!

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  7. Fantastic photographs of the sweet fledgling. Lucky for you and lucky for us. Just beautiful.

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  8. Fantastic photos! How interesting that you had just read that newsletter! Great captures! Look forward to meeting you in person in Asheville!

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  9. What great photos! I have birds in my trees and waterfalls all the time, but have failed at getting nice photos. Like your blog- I will be visiting!

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  10. What a wonderful experience! He's so sweet. :o) I have wrens and bluebirds in houses in my garden. I am really hoping to see babies.

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  11. It's a sweet bird. I have never heard of hoppers but will be on the lookout now.

    It was a pleasure meeting you this evening!

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  12. Fotografie stupende! buon inizio settimana...ciao

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  13. Such cute images. It was a pleasure to join you at the Fling.

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