About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A closer look at the fee-bee song of the chickadee

I woke up this morning to the beautiful whistled fee-bee song of the Black-capped Chickadee. Most people know that the chickadee sings Chicka-dee-dee-dee to communicate, not everyone realizes that they also sing a fee-bee song more often in the spring.

In the Wild Bird Guides: Black-capped Chickadee, Susan Smith writes the loud fee-bees actually involve three notes. The first (fee) is high, the second (bee) is low, and the third is slightly higher in pitch than the second, like they are singing hey sweetie.

These fee-bee songs in the morning are used by the males to attract a mate or once they have a mate, establish nesting territories. There is also a quieter fee-bee that the males use when talking to their mates. When a male approaches his nest he alerts his female with a faint fee-bee and both male and females use the little fee-bee song to tell their nestling that they’re there and food is coming.

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