Let me start with a little back-story. Every year for the past several I have had 3 Mountain Chickadees spend the winter in and near my yard on south central Colorado. They spend a lot of time in the two Colorado blue spruce I have and I suspect they may roost inside it’s protective boughs at night. Mountain Chickadees are found at a little higher to much higher elevation for the rest of the year but some do what is called an altitudinal migration during fall and winter to lower elevation areas such as where I live.
As the close-up photo just above shows Mountain Chickadees have a white eyebrow. In
fact the sub-species found in the Rocky Mountains has a wide white eyebrow, with buff or brownish-olive backs and buff sides. Otherwise they are similar to Black-capped and Carolina Chickadees with their black caps, whitish cheeks and underparts.
So three Mountain Chickadees had arrived in my yard around the first of October and they have coming to their feeder in my yard. Then just a few days ago I was sitting on my deck and watching them and some other birds coming to my feeders and to the sunflowers plants in my garden. I got a phone call and was busy talking as one of the Mountain Chickadees came on to my deck several times, probing in the beams which I supposed was to look for insects. I was surprised it kept coming so close but figured these birds are likely the same ones that have been coming and know me now.
As I continue my phone conversation this chickadee lands just 2 feet away on a cardboard box and proceeds to tap with it’s bill. I was now really surprised as this was very close plus I could not figure out why it was tapping there as there were no seeds or insects. It then flew directly to the feeder I put their sunflower seeds in and proceeded to tap away at the feeders bottom. I wondered if the feeder might be empty. I had ended my phone conversation so I got up and walked over to the feeder–it was empty. That smart little chickadee had been trying to get my attention to communicate that it wanted me to put out my seeds! So I did get more seeds and placed them in the feeder. Just as soon as I had done that and walked away a few feet the chickadee, that had been perched nearby watching, flew to the feeder to get a seed. How amazing!