I noted that you mentioned the chickadee's song is fee bee with the second note being higher than the first. I was a music teacher for 32 years and the chickadees in my backyard feeders always sing the first note higher than the second. Could your article have a misprint? I remember that the mother's in my neighborhood would tell their daughters that the chickadee was singing their name, i.e., Phoebe, Patti, Lucy; whatever their name was.
About them being friendly and fearless; they certainly are. My oldest son would stand still until a Chickadee was feeding nearby and very slowly reach up and pet it. This went on every day for an entire summer. No matter how hard I tried, they wouldn't come near me. He even got it to eat out of his hand once. You've got to love the chickadee!
The little chickadees keep us bird watchers busy during the winter. We have heard every on of the pretty songs mentioned. I had an aunt named Phoebe and I think of her when the little birds start singing it! My daughter is a member of the Cornell Bird Watcher Club and she can get birds to perch on her hands, too. Once they land on her hands, I usually can coax them on to my hands because we go outside together. The chickadees have to see my daughter first, though. They are lively-we have seen three of them chase bigger birds off a feeder. Don't worry, the bigger birds come back later for their meal.
gardengirl and orkid, I am impressed at the patience of your son and daughter in getting the birds to feed from their hands -- and to pet! I know that chickadees are supposed to be one of the few wild birds you can train to your hand, but even so, it takes a special kind of person.
gardengirl, you are absolutely right, and I have corrected my mistake. Thanks for your excellent eyes -- and ears!
I was truly shocked at how aggressive these little birds can be. Not only to other members of their own species, but others, sometimes larger as well. They will chase cardinals, and even sometimes blue jays.
My husband was an avid bird feeder. At times wading through deep snow to keep the feeder full. The chickadees would hover very close when he was refilling the feeder, occasionally alighting on his hat.
Home alone one winter day I kept hearing this little repetitive noise. Then I saw this little chickadee flying at the window, pecking on the glass. When he lost elevation, he would fly back to the top of the window and repeat the performance. I was mystified until I noticed the feeder was empty! A quick refill and all was well.