A Guide on How to Attract Chickadees to Your Backyard
Chickadees are a very interesting type of bird. This family of birds are referred to in North America as chickadees but referred to throughout the rest of the world as tits. Of course, chickadee was also once a popular term of endearment for a significant other.
You can find a variety of different chickadees in the United States including the Carolina chickadee, black-capped chickadee, mountain chickadee, boreal chickadee, chestnut-backed chickadee, and several more. While these birds have a variety of colors of plumage, they are most easily recognized by having a crown and throat that is much darker than the rest of their bodies. If you want to attract these small birds to your yard, here are some key tips to consider!
Offer a Bird Bath or Two
Fresh water is critical for all types of chickadees. You will find that these birds both drink and bathe in bird baths. However, it is important to remember that chickadees are very small birds. Thus, you want to make sure that bird baths are shallow enough for them. Hanging bird baths tend to be good options for chickadees that can also keep them more protected from predators.
Another thing to consider is the provision of fresh water during the winter. Chickadees are not migratory birds. You will find them in the same areas year-round. Thus, you can make your yard a favorite during the colder months by providing a heated bird bath, ensuring access to water even during cold snaps when other sources freeze over.
Accommodate the Varied Diet of Chickadees
Despite their small size, chickadees tend to eat a lot! They also have a very diverse diet. Thus, providing many different options of foods within their diet can help to make your yard a virtual cornucopia for these tiny, feathered friends. Their favorite foods include shelled peanuts, black oil sunflower seeds, and suet. Tube and hopper feeders are both perfect options for attracting chickadees.
In addition to these types of foods, chickadees also forage for insects and fruit. Thus, opting for native plants and flowers can help encourage an environment for more insects. Berry-producing trees or seed-producing flowers (like sunflowers) are also great ways to help attract chickadees to your yard. By offering a variety of food sources, your yard can quickly become a popular habitat for these birds.
Provide Bird Houses
Chickadees are also cavity-nesting birds. This means that they can be drawn to bird houses, which make a convenient habitat for nesting. The biggest thing in selecting bird houses for chickadees is size. You want to opt for houses that are about four to five inches square and about eight inches tall. The entrance hole should be roughly 1 1/8 inch in diameter. Bird houses for chickadees can be easily mounted on trees, walls, or poles between five and fifteen feet off the ground.
In addition to providing chickadee bird houses, you can help ensure they have the material needed to build their nests. Chickadees will take advantage of things like wood shavings, string, and pet fur to build their nests. If you have had woodpeckers in the past, they will often take advantage of old cavities made by these birds too.
Feeder Placement Matters
Chickadees typically do not stay long at feeders. Instead, they prefer to take seeds to safer spots for consumption. Thus, positioning feeders in areas close to shrubs and thickets can provide more comfort for these often skittish birds. They like to know that there is an effective area to easily retreat to when needed. This is also a great tip for where to locate bird baths for chickadees.
Additionally, if you find your yard gets the attention of several chickadees, placing multiple feeders to allow more than one bird to eat at once is a good idea. Often, a dominant chickadee will attempt to chase away other visiting chickadees. Having multiple feeders for chickadees can allow more to dine at once without a problem.
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