Self-tutoring about bird watching: the tutor observes black-capped chickadees.
Reading today about black-capped chickadees, numerous sources suggest they don’t live on Vancouver Island. While I don’t want to be controversial, I believe that they do live here, and that I see them often.
A story about one: Early last February, late on a Sunday afternoon, my younger son and I went for a walk in the woods. We intended to retrace steps from when he was much younger; back then, my two sons and I walked in the woods every weekend. In recent years, we’ve all but stopped. Therefore, returning to the woods that afternoon was a welcome, yet somewhat melancholy, occasion.
The temp was around -4C, the day dry, but gray. Apart from us, the woods were well-nigh deserted. We arrived at one of the destinations the kids loved to visit when they were younger, then casually milled about, talking about life.
The woods were cold and still; the sun was trying to break though the clouds before it set. I wondered how life could return to this frozen place.
Suddenly, a quiet sound reached my ears, and I turned toward a light bustle near the ground. Close by, a bird flitted in and out of view. I asked my son to describe it, but I saw it as well: it looked to me like a black-capped chickadee.
The bird often made a single-note call as it darted nearer and further away, sometimes keeping just out of sight behind a wide tree. Its call I would describe as the “tseet” that Lesley mentions in her video among the sources below.
Lesley describes “tseet” as a call made towards strangers. Were we, indeed, being formally contacted by the chickadee? Its presence reassured me that indeed, nature would restore life to that quiet hollow.
I hope to return there and reconnect with that chickadee: Perhaps we’re no longer strangers:)
Source:Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.