nature journal entry November 16, 2000 by OnlyDaughter (8th grade)
However careless we may be of our bird friends when we are in the midst of the luxurious life of summer, even the most careless among us give pleased attention to the birds that bravely endure with us the rigors of winter. And when this winged companion of winter proves to be the most fascinating little ball of feathers ever created, constantly overflowing with cheerful song, our pleased attention changes to active delight. Thus it is, that in all the lands of snowy winters the chickadee is a loved comrade of the country wayfarer; that happy song "chick-a-dee-dee-dee" finds its way to the dullest consciousness and the most callous heart.
~Anna Botsford Comstock, Handbook of Nature Study
The Chickadees are here and I hope they decide to stay on for the winter. Sometimes they stay, and sometimes they go. I'm hoping that my offer of a never-ending supply of sunflower seeds will convince them to stay. For now, I'll be content to listen for their sweet songs and watch their happy acrobatics. I think chickadees are friendly birds. They don't seem to mind sharing the backyard with me at all. Just yesterday I filled the bird bath with fresh water and one of them came right up to me as I was pouring. It was as if he couldn't wait to jump in or get a drink. I know the sound of trickling water is very alluring to birds, but I like to think he came so near to say thank you.
I recall long ago OnlyDaughter wanted to "tame" the chickadees. She had read somewhere that if you will be patient and still, oftentimes chickadees would come close and eventually land upon you just as they would a tree branch. So out she went one winter afternoon to see if it might be true. Standing still-as-a-stalk out in the snow underneath the swing set, her mitten'd hands open wide with an offering of sunflower seeds, she waited patiently, and soon the chickadees landed on her mittens and fed happily while my wide-eyed, rosy-cheeked girl grinned from ear to ear. Is there anything so grand as a wild bird trusting the hand that feeds it?
The Crows have flown in now to gobble up the corn left behind in the feed bunks. The Canada Geese made a V-line south. The robins are still here, but they are all flocked together and I think they are talking it over when to pack it up and fly south. The American Goldfinch have changed their bright yellow tuxedos for gray winter tweeds, and many of them will stay on for the winter. Maybe, just maybe the chickadees will stay too.