We’re back up at our cabin for another week. One of the first things we did was to refill the bird feeder with sunflower seeds. Within an hour or so they started to come and soon there was a literal flurry of activity. We’ve had nuthatches, goldfinches, and woodpeckers, but my personal favorites are the black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus). They are so Chickadee 2628cheeky, bold, and curious that by standing still and saying Dee-dee-dee in a medium-loud stage whisper, one can call them in so that they sometimes come within a few feet and perch for several seconds before zipping to another nearby perch. Love these little guys!


About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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10 Responses to Dee-dee-dee-lightful

  1. Vicki says:

    And a very nice image too.
    (did you deliberately angle the shot so the white background was behind the dark head/back & tail?)

  2. shoreacres says:

    I had no idea the chickadees have those brown feathers on their undercarriage. They are delightful birds. I rarely see them — or hear them — around here, although they do show up in our sparse woods from time to time. I’m most likely to come across them in the hill country. You’re right about how fast they are. Given their tendency to flit, I think you managed a terrific shot.

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks, Linda. And the next time you see them in your hill country, try the stage whisper trick–it really works. But if you’re trying to get a good portrait, put on your medium-long lens, turn up your ISO, turn on your fastest sequential shooting, and be ready to make several dozen shots to get one or two decent ones. It’s all part of the fun!

  3. I see that the species name is a Latin translation of ‘black-capped.’ As for the genus name, the Wikipedia article at says this:

    “The current genus name, Poecile, is the Ancient Greek name for a now unidentifiable small bird. It has traditionally been treated as feminine (giving name endings such as cincta); however, this was not specified by the original genus author Johann Jakob Kaup, and under the ICZN the genus name must therefore be treated by default as masculine, giving name endings such as cinctus.

    The online Latin dictionary at

    says that Poecile was the Latin transliteration of Greek “Ποικίλη (variegated).” It’s not clear to me if that means that the word originally meant ‘variegated’ in Greek. The Latin dictionary goes on to gloss Poecile as The picture-gallery, a celebrated hall or portico in the market-place at Athens.’

    The word was definitely feminine. It seems strange to me that because a German scientist neglected to mention that (most likely assuming that anybody who wanted to could open a Latin dictionary), everyone else is now forced into the ornithological obstinacy of using the wrong gender.

    • krikitarts says:

      Thank you, dear Professor, for the sharing with us the fruits of your excellent research. May you proudly wear the black cap (and gown) appropriate to your achieved level of scholarship. It’s a good thing that the male b.c. chickadee is indistinguishable from the female, so the gender issue regarding taxonomical integrity may be more academic than with other individuals.

  4. Adrian Lewis says:

    Very like our titmice and clearly very closely related – but our’s are the genus Parus – tho maybe I’m out of date on that. Lovely portrait. A

  5. krikitarts says:

    Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the changing taxonomical designations, but thanks to the web, whatever comes up first is–at least usually–the latest iteration.

  6. This is a wonderful portrait. They are a favorite of mine as well and I am so happy to see them returning to my garden.

  7. krikitarts says:

    As are we. The woods would not be the same without them–or their frequent companions, the other champion acrobats, the nuthatches.

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