About us: We own a wild bird feeding supply 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.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What bird sings cheeseburger?

“What bird says Cheeseburger?” My mom asked me that question a couple weeks ago. Chickadee is the answer. We were joking that Mrs. Chickadee was literally calling her mate a meathead. In the spring it is all, Sweetie, hey, sweetie as they choose mates and defend territories and now it has turned into name calling. I think the bloom is off the rose.

When I’m filling the feeders the chickadees sometimes give what seems like a friendly chick-a-dee-dee-dee which I always interpreted as a “hurry up, food is here”. Then when a Chickadee stops by my feeder they make a tseet, tseet “hello”, picks out a seed and zips away. And the soulful sweeeties chickadee parents call to gather their fledglings is one of the sweetest sounds of summer.

Black-capped Chickadees have a lot of vocalizations, adults can produce at least 16 different calls. Young chickadees usually produce 3 types of calls to beg for food, to talk to their parents, or alert them they are in distress.

Chickadees are well known for their distinctive calls which sound like chick-a-dee-dee-dee. Scientist are just beginning to decode some of the meanings. They increase the number of dee notes when they are alarmed, give a gargling call, often aggressively, when a lower-ranking bird gets too close. And a high pitched see is a serious alarm call, often when a fast-approaching predator is detected. When chickadees hear this call, they freeze in position until they hear a chickadee-dee call signifying “all clear.”

Further studies in communication in birds may provide insights into the evolution of structural complexity of human language.

Related Articles:
What the 'dee' in Chick-a-dee means http://goo.gl/8rde3a
A closer look at the fee-bee song of the chickadee http://goo.gl/X4qLRV
Why don't chickadees stay to eat at the feeder? http://bit.ly/AkKThH
After chickadee babies have fledged http://bit.ly/yAYbP4
Fun Facts About Chickadees http://bit.ly/zIDkCi
Birds have evolved alarm signals to warn of danger http://birds-have-evolved-alarm-signals-to.html

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