The outdoor thermometer has not budged from its 0 degree F reading in the past two days. The gray squirrels are absent, but the red squirrels poke their head out every now and then. The one constant feature in the backyard, regardless of the weather, is the Black-capped Chickadees. A family group of seven chickadees makes the rounds of the feeders once or twice a day, pausing only briefly in the lilac bush a few feet from the feeder to drill out the core of a sunflower seed before swooping back to the feeder for another.
They space themselves out in the lilac bushes, each waiting their turn at the feeders. I’m just assuming its a family group, because usually the resident pair and the past summer’s offspring stay together through the winter. There are always 6-7 of them feeding together.
There are six feeding stations on the bird feeder, but these chickadees prefer to visit just one at a time.
In between visits, the birds fluff themselves up until they resemble a little round puff ball of feathers. It must be subzero temperatures with the wind blowing today, but it doesn’t seem to bother these hearty little birds that probably weigh less than a McDonald’s ketchup package.
It’s tough staying warm on a day like today, especially with wind ruffling those feathers and carrying away precious body heat.