Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Sure Sign of Spring in Central Alberta

       This morning I was out just a few minutes before 7 AM and I heard a chickadee "fee beeing." It was minus 26 C(minus 13 F). Now people will all know what I'm talking about if chickadees are resident in your area. The fee bee call is one that catches your attention right away. This chickadee  was doing his call constantly which indicates he's pretty serious about spring and mates.
My snowy bird feeded this morning.
       The male chickadee selects a territory which has suitable nesting habitat and a good food supply. Then he sings his little heart out to all the females in the area to come and have a look at him and the fine territory he has chosen. The interesting thing about chickadees is that they sometimes really rush the season and give a few calls in January. These are usually just one or two calls. So when I heard the call this morning it was a very good indication of serious mating activity which really says that spring is here.

      A few years ago I happened to be surrounded by three male chickadees doing their call. One female was in the area. These little guys really called with all the vigor they had. The female went and took a look at all three callers and then flew out of the territory. She could probably hear anther male calling which my ears were not able to detect. The three males she visited all called after her as if to say come back and take another look at me.

     So some people see robins as the perfect indicator of spring. Others see first green plant shoots of some kind as their sign of spring. Other people have a favorite blossom which to them indicates that spring is here. For me the little chickadee is all I need to hear for a sure sign of spring.