Friday, 1 February 2008

Coal Tit / Black-capped Chickadee

One of the pleasures of this winter has been the regular attendance of a male Coal Tit, who seems to appreciate my crushed peanuts*. He calls loudly when he's about to approach the feeder, about every 20 minutes through the day. Another (female?) occasionally accompanies him.
Coincidentally, the New Brunswick blogger posted a similar photo today, of a Black-Capped Chickadee (parus atricapillus according to my Peterson), so called after the chickadee-dee-dee call. The European Coal Tit (parus ater) looks and sounds quite similar, which begs many Darwinian questions**.

* To crush nuts, use a rolling pin (which scatters the pieces around the kitchen to the benefit of any passing mice), or in the coffee grinder (which prevents scatter, but runs the risk of angering the wife if seen).

** On reflection, the Chickadee is more similar to the European Willow and Marsh Tits while the Coal Tit is now in a different genus - Periparus, while the Black-Capped Chickadee is in Poecile (which also includes Willow and Marsh Tits) . The winter evenings just fly by.

Marsh Tit, copyright Warren of Hadlow

4 comments:

Warren Baker said...

steve,
Put your nuts in a food blender- it does a really good job, just ask the caol tits!!

Mary said...

I guess the little wing bars and the stripe on the back of the head are the biggest differences from our Chickadee. It's very cute bird, no matter which continent it is on :-)

me and my camera said...

Very similiar looking! I was not aware of this bird before. You have many birds in your area that I am not familiar with; its interesting to learn of them. I made note of the Coal Tit on my blog also. Thanks for your mention of the comparision.

NW Nature Nut said...

What lovely photos. Its so nice to see birds from other parts of the world. Check out my blog if you'd like to see some Oregon birds. I'll keep checking back!