This weekend my neighbor and I went to the Visitors Center at Point Pelee to get her some postcards and walk the dogs. While there I chatted with the Ranger on duty about the lack of black-capped chickadees in the area. She said that occasionally, the Park might have a couple of them in summer, and in winter maybe a few more. She said no one knows quite why they shun the Pelee peninsula and its surrounding area. I’ve lived here four years now, and have heard not a peep, or make that a “dee-dee-dee’ anywhere. I think if I ever do hear or see one here, I will likely drop whatever I’m holding—hopefully it won’t be anything scalding hot or seriously breakable—and rush to have a look! Anyway, I decided I want to pursue this matter further, so here’s my plan: to determine as closely as possible the area that the chickadees have declared a “no fly zone” around here, and enlist everyone’s help.
If you live or visit in the general southwestern Ontario area in Canada (Lake Erie/Lake Ontario area, or Windsor and farther north, or in northern Ohio, or SE Michigan, I’d love to hear a chickadee report from you. And if you know fellow bloggers who might be willing to chime in, please feel free to forward this to them. I’d like to hear from birders and non-birders alike. Chickadees are easy to identify by sight and by call—you don’t need to be an expert. I’m hoping to get an idea just what of the local black-cap distribution is. I’m told there’s a book available that lists the nesting distribution of birds in Ontario, and that may be my last resort, but this way sounds like a lot more fun. So if you’re up for it, please either leave a comment on this post, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll try to see just how far one has to travel from the Leamington/Pelee area before black-capped chickadees start showing up, and I'll post the results. I’ll also go to work on putting a link to this post in the right-hand margin so you can find it more easily once this post scrolls out of sight.
LINK with entire repertoire (41 seconds) of black-capped chickadee calls.
The Cloud Messenger (Meghadūta) is a lyric poem by the respected Indian poet, Kālidāsa. The poem centers around a yaksa in exile. Longing for his beloved, waiting for him on a Himalayan mountain, he asks a cloud to take a message to her. The sights he tells the cloud it will see on its way make up most of the poem.
The idea of recording observations appeals to me. I thought The Cloud Messenger was the perfect title for a blog about the journey that we all make as we move through our days.
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.