We went for a long hike in the Assiniboine Forest on Sunday afternoon. Dave as always was on the lookout for birds to photograph. He was shelling peanuts and eating them as we walked. A little chickadee kept landing on the trees along the trail right beside us.
“I think that bird is interested in my peanuts,” Dave said. “I bet it can smell them.”
I kept putting new peanuts on my glove and the chickadee kept flying in, landing on my hand and diligently pecking at the peanut bits until it had managed to pick one up. Then it flew away to eat its tasty treasure. Later I found out this is typical behaviour for chickadees. If they visit a bird feeder for example they will take a seed and then fly away to eat it. How delightful to feel the chickadee’s delicate little feet on my fingers and its sharp tiny bill tickling my palm. The bird was truly light as a feather. I was amazed that this little chickadee would trust a stranger and sit on my hand as if it were nothing more than another twig on a tree. Up close I could see the chickadee’s white cheeks and sporty black bib. Its black cap seemed to be pulled down over its eyes.
According to Jennifer Ackerman author of The Genius of Birds, “Chickadees are generally unfazed by people… they possess a deep-rooted self-confidence, and will investigate everything inside their home territory.”