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Me and a Chickadee

November 18, 2010

I think I’ve already divulged the sad fact that I’m not exactly an animal person. Actually, I’m ever so slightly afraid of most animals. You never know when a dog might decide to bite your ankle and sink its incisors into your flesh. This hasn’t ever happened to me, but, as my mother warned me as a child, you never know! Cats never really did it for me either. They have both sharp teeth and claws. I’ll admit that I’ve always been partial to turtles and bunnies, but not to the point of actually touching them. I’m a bunny-admirer-from-afar kind of person.

So Bird-Loving Readers, you would have been shocked to see me hand-feeding a chickadee a few days ago!

There we were, the slightly hyper Poecile atricapillus and I, standing in the middle of Whitby, enjoying one another’s company. Of course, it helped that I had sunflower seeds and peanuts resting in the palm of my hand. (OK, full disclosure: the chickadee ate out of my MITTEN. I haven’t gotten as far as touching a bird yet. But the mitten was a huge step, believe me!) He nibbled at a few sunflower seeds, turned around to look at me, and off he went. He might have even smiled! Perhaps thanked me for my kindness.

I might have even seduced another chickadee into my little green-polar-fleece-clad-hand if I hadn’t, out of sheer hunger and, I admit, slight fear, devoured the remainder of the trail mix…

In other chickadee-unrelated news, I discovered, thanks to Pickle Me This, the great website of writer/illustrator Patricia Storms who evidently shares my love of the avian world and introduced me to a fabulous artist, Ellen Sereda, who paints absolutely stunning birds! Aren’t inter-blog connections amazing? I’ll leave you with Ellen’s Great Horned Owl, which should whet your appetite for discovering more of her art work!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 19, 2010 12:27 am

    I would have loved to see you get up close and personal with an animal. . . this birding thing is really changing your life.

  2. November 19, 2010 10:03 am

    I know! It was pretty terrifying at first (I was convinced the chickadee would somehow run off with one of my fingers, never mind that it was in a double layered MITTEN). I swear, we made eye contact!

  3. November 20, 2010 2:03 pm

    This reminds of when my daughter was 5 and her big dream was to have a bird eat out of her hand. We went camping and the gray jays at the campsites were shameless opportunists. I told her to hold out her hand with some food and be very still and she may get her wish. And she did and a few seconds later a jay came to do just that but she screamed so loudly in shock and surprise she scared it away (and every other bird in the area probably too). It is thrilling and exciting and a little scary sometimes these encounters we’re lucky to have with wildlife.
    And thanks so much for mentioning my site and including my owl! I’m honored.


  1. Another encounter with a Chickadee « Birds and Words

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