Birds of Barrington, Birds of Barrington Illinois, Causes, Citizens for Conservation, Contributors, Wendy Paulson, Wildlife

36. Wendy Paulson’s Birds of Barrington | The Black-Capped Chickadee

36. Wendy Paulson’s Birds of Barrington | The Black-Capped Chickadee

Home Newsroom 36. Wendy Paulson’s Birds of Barrington | The Black-Capped Chickadee

Cross-country skiing on the first day of February in a local forest preserve, I brightened at the call of a black-capped chickadee: chick-a-dee-dee-dee. It’s a call that delights both adults and children. The chickadee says its name!

Birds of Barrington with Wendy Paulson: The Black-Capped Chickadee
Birds of Barrington with Wendy Paulson: The Black-Capped Chickadee

The black-capped chickadee is a year-round resident of Barrington. Despite its diminutive size of about five inches in length and less than half an ounce in weight, it is a fierce winter survivor. On frigid winter nights such as the ones we have recently experienced, chickadees fluff up their feathers to maximize layers of warmth. They also can lower their body temperature by as much as 12º, achieving a sort of torpor uncommon in birds.

Birds of Barrington with Wendy Paulson: The Black-Capped Chickadee
Birds of Barrington with Wendy Paulson: The Black-Capped Chickadee

During daylight hours, when not flitting from tree to tree in search of live or hibernating insects, insect eggs, and cocoons, the chickadee can be enticed to bird feeders. It relishes sunflower, pumpkin, and squash seeds, nut meats, and suet. The chickadee delights feeder watchers with its darting ways and ability to hang upside down on a chunk of suet or cling to the tiny lip of a small globe feeder.

Chickadees favor company in winter – of others of their kind and of nuthatches, kinglets, and woodpeckers. Seldom will you find a solitary chickadee in winter months. Their cheery notes lift the gloom from the dreariest winter landscape.

As spring approaches, the chickadee bands disperse and the birds begin to pair off, whistling their high-pitched, two-note fee-bee song (which often is mistaken for that of an eastern phoebe). After a long winter, those cheerful notes are welcome music!

Once paired, the birds search for, or make, a tree cavity suitable for their nest. Sometimes they will use bird nest boxes, especially those designed for bluebirds and house wrens. Both male and female build the small, delicate mossy nest, lining it with bits of plant down and animal fur. Typically, the female lays five to eight tiny eggs and incubates them for about twelve days.

The black-capped chickadee is often described as a dynamo, an acrobat, a woodland sprite. It is all of those. It is a bird common to Barrington woodlands. But in its ability to gladden and delight with its perky notes and elfin antics, it’s quite an extraordinary species.

Birds of Barrington: Black Capped Chickadee
Birds of Barrington with Wendy Paulson: The Black-Capped Chickadee

………………………………………………………

About the Author

Wendy Paulson has lived in Barrington Hills since 1975, and has led bird walks in the area for many years. She re-established the Nature Lady program in District 220 and St. Anne’s in the late 70s, under the auspices of The Garden Club and Little Garden Club of Barrington.

Wendy Paulson
Wendy Paulson

Wendy developed the education program for Citizens for Conservation, initiated and edited its newsletter, and has been an active volunteer with CFC for over 30 years.

During interludes in New York City and Washington, DC, she taught classes about birds in the public schools and is helping to develop a similar program in Chicago public schools with Openlands.

She has a regular schedule of bird walks in the Barrington area sponsored by Citizens for Conservation and Audubon Chicago Region.

Wendy is chairman of The Bobolink Foundation, serves on the board or advisory committee of multiple conservation and bird-related organizations, both domestic and international, and is former chairman of IL and NY chapters of The Nature Conservancy.

She and her husband Hank have two grown children and are avid hikers, cyclists, and kayakers.

For more information about a cause close to Wendy’s heart here in Barrington, visit CitizensForConservation.org.

Wendy Paulson is a regular contributor at 365Barrington.com sharing profiles of birds found in the Barrington area. CLICK HERE to read all of Wendy’s posts published in our Birds of Barrington series and watch for her next contribution which will be published on the first of the month.

Do you have a question about birds you’ve seen in Barrington? Just enter you question in the comments box for this post and we’ll ask Wendy!

There are no comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Barrington
69°
clear sky
humidity: 83%
wind: 3mph E
H 64 • L 64
77°
Wed
79°
Thu
78°
Fri
72°
Sat

Luby Group Listings

$495,000
4
BED
3
TOTAL BATHS
2,932
SQFT
23443 West Mallard Court Deer Park, IL 60010
Single Family Home For Sale
- Active

Lovely updated 4 bedroom ranch on lush interior lot in Deer Park! Great layout with many updates. Kitchen features hardwood floors, granite, island with breakfast bar, separate beverage refrigerator, and adjacent breakfast eating area. Terrific fa

$425,000
4
BED
3
TOTAL BATHS
2,550
SQFT
104 East Lake Shore Drive Tower Lakes, IL 60010
Single Family Home For Sale
- Active

WATERFRONT hillside ranch in sought after Tower Lakes Community, enjoy resort style living year round with 196' of lakefront! This fabulous 4 bedroom all brick home has been lovingly maintained, offering great space and a versatile floor plan. The ma

$600,000
4
BED
4
TOTAL BATHS
3,352
SQFT
25966 Oak Hills Road Lake Barrington, IL 60010
Single Family Home For Sale
- Active

Beautifully designed contemporary with fabulous floor plan, this one of a kind home is open & bright with vaulted ceilings, skylights, & custom 2 story windows throughout. Updated kitchen made for entertaining features custom cabinets, granite, stain

$675,000
5
BED
4
TOTAL BATHS
3,629
SQFT
1 Burning Oak Trail Barrington Hills, IL 60010
Single Family Home For Sale
- Active

Stunning home on 2.2 acre wooded lot with private pond and creek! Gleaming hardwood flooring throughout most of first floor. Gourmet kitchen with center island and adjacent hearth room with cozy fireplace are the hub of every day living. Great room f