Monday, November 30, 2009

CALLING ALL BIRD DETECTIVES


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 dgodin11@gmail.com, 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.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

17 comments:

bobbie said...

Well, not that we're anywhere near you. but they are here in NJ,

Poetikat said...

They are regulars at my feeders. I have about six that come round every day.
Signed,

Monsieur Parrot (Belgian)

Lin Floyd said...

I live in the west...

Sylvia K said...

I've never seen any around here, but since we have no trees in our yard, we're not visited by very many winged friends. I will keep an eye/ear out and let you know if I see or hear one! Sure is a cutie!

Have a good week!,

Sylvia

SandyCarlson said...

I hope you get one your way for Xmas!

Ruth said...

We have lots and lots of them in our area of SW Ontario. I noticed there were none at Pelee this spring when I was doing my bird check list. They really like pine trees and the cone seeds. Our big pine attracts a dozen or more at a time. Pelee is more of a Carolinian forest with fewer evergreens and more deciduous trees. That is my guess (shot in the dark,lol!)

Wren said...

No theories on distribution, but I have seen and heard them in my backyard (near Ann Arbor).

Cloudia said...

Haven't seen any here in Waikiki, LOL...



Aloha, Friend!


Comfort Spiral

Betsy from Tennessee said...

As you know, I'm nowhere near you, Deb, but we have tons of Chickadees here. Good Luck finding more info.

Hugs,
Betsy

magiceye said...

cuties

Quiet Paths said...

It's a fascinating puzzle; it sounds like a good way to at least fine tune your inquiry. We have so many here....

Lorac said...

I will try to send some your way. We are on overload, especially lately!

fourwindsphotojournal said...

We have a lot of them. I was out dee-dee-dee ing with them today while I snapped photos. I have no idea why they aren't there. I just read Ruth's comment. We have a gazillion pine trees behind our house.

YourFireAnt said...

We have plenty down here.. Why not come for a visit.

;-)

Kathiesbirds said...

Deborah, what a great idea! Have you checked ou the eBird site to see if they have any info? If you record what you discover it could be very helpful to them! I can't wait to hear what you find out! Please do keep us posted!

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