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Oct 18, 2022

"The sound of birds stops the noise in my mind." --Carly Simon

In Praise of Black Capped Chickadees

"I'd like to offer some words in praise of chickadees. Though seven different species inhabit North America, four of them in Alaska, here I will focus on the black-capped chickadee, the bird that transformed my life nearly three decades ago. Because they're among the most common birds to inhabit the Anchorage area -- and much of our continent --nearly everyone can recognize black-capped chickadees (which I sometimes simply call black-caps) and their familiar chick-a-dee-dee calls. At the same time, I suspect that most people largely ignore black-caps, don't give them much thought, simply because they are so common (those who put out bird feeders being exceptions to that rule). And because they're small and "ordinary," they're easy to overlook, easy to take for granted. Here I'll show many of the ways that black-capped chickadees are in fact among the most extraordinary creatures with whom we share this northern landscape, their exceptional nature documented by researchers who've closely examined their lives." Nature writer Bill Sherwonit proceeds to do exactly that in this wonderful piece.


Take a moment today to stop the noise in your mind, and tune into the presence of all the life forms around you.