Mountain Chickadee

        I think Winter magazines are a treat because one of my favorite birds is always featured. A spectacular little bird, with a black head and eye stripe, called achickadee Mountain Chickadee. Its name is its song, chick-a-dee-dee-dee, chick-a-dee-dee-dee.

        This Mountain Chickadee is a real home body. Once it establishes a home range, it stays there. Mountain Chickadees will spend the summers filling their larder full of seeds and insects, hiding their food supply under loose bark, crevices in trees, and even stashing it in the ground. With a secure food supply set aside, the Mountain Chickadee is able to stay year round in their home territory. The ability to store food and recover it in winter saves the Mountain Chickadee from the stresses of migration.

        When you get a hankering to roam the higher elevations of southern Utah, listen to see if you don't hear the recognizable bird call of the Mountain Chickadee. Like many birds, it is heard before it is seen. When you hear it, follow the sound into the nearby trees and bushes. It is a busy, busy worker, going up, down, under, and all over the trunks and branches looking for food.

        Mountain Chickadees are not an easy bird to see in action, but when my honey makes like a stump, it works. Being really quiet while bird watching is hard to learn and even harder to teach your children, but it pays off when wildlife moves into your viewing area and you are pretending to be a stump.

        Judy Warren is our artist.  Thank you Judy for sharing your talent with us.  

        The public can check out the Mountain Chickadee at the upcoming St. George Winter Bird Festival January 29, 30, 31, and February 1, 2009.  All presentations and field trips are free.  Thursday 26: At 6:00 p.m. BLM, features Hawkwatch International.  Friday and Saturday 30, 31: At Tonaquint Nature Center, 1851 S. Dixie Dr., there will be presentations for Kids and Adults, Workshops, and Field Trips.  Check on line  or  for complete schedule.  Ned Hill is Guest Presenter at Dixie State College Friday, 7:00 p.m.  Keynote Speaker Bill Fennimore, Banquet, and dancin' music from Jim Sevy's band at Abbey Inn, 6:00 p.m.($20).  Sunday field trips 8:00 and 9:00 a.m.  For more information call Marilyn Davis 435 673-0996.

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