….Chickadee Miniature

April 21, 2016

This Winter along with the usual Mountain Chickadees at our feeders, we were pleased to have Black-Capped Chickadees as well.  Coming from Eastern parts, they are the ones associated with childhood and so have a special place for me.

Right now we are experiencing amazingly warm temperatures–85F (30C)–and gardening is ramped up as a result.  Dividing time between perennials and painting is a pleasure. As an Autumn and Winter person, I continue painting with that pallet of tones and colourations, and so ask you to cut some slack if/when I post snow scenes in April.

chickadee miniature

‘Pause That Refreshes’

 5"x 7", Watercolour, Saunders Hot Press #140 paper

Cool Facts

  • The Black-Capped Chickadee hides seeds and other food items to eat later. Each item is placed in a different spot and the chickadee can remember thousands of hiding places.
  • Every autumn Black-capped Chickadees allow brain neurons containing old information to die, replacing them with new neurons so they can adapt to changes in their social flocks and environment even with their tiny brains.
  • Chickadee calls are complex and language-like, communicating information on identity and recognition of other flocks as well as predator alarms and contact calls. The more dee notes in a chickadee-dee-deecall, the higher the threat level.
  • Winter flocks with chickadees serving as the nucleus contain mated chickadee pairs and nonbreeders, but generally not the offspring of the adult pairs within that flock. Other species that associate with chickadee flocks include nuthatches, woodpeckers, kinglets, creepers, warblers and vireos.
  • Most birds that associate with chickadee flocks respond to chickadee alarm calls, even when their own species doesn’t have a similar alarm call.
  • There is a dominance hierarchy within flocks. Some birds are “winter floaters” that don’t belong to a single flock—these individuals may have a different rank within each flock they spend time in.
  • Even when temperatures are far below zero, chickadees virtually always sleep in their own individual cavities. In rotten wood, they can excavate nesting and roosting holes entirely on their own.
  • Because small songbirds migrating through an unfamiliar area often associate with chickadee flocks, watching and listening for chickadee flocks during spring and fall can often alert birders to the presence of interesting migrants.
  • The oldest known wild Black-capped Chickadee was at least 11 years, 6 months old when it was recaptured and re-released during banding operations in Minnesota.

source:  https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-capped_Chickadee/lifehistory

23 Responses to “….Chickadee Miniature”

  1. …quite so for me, anyway–but I know miniature painters who go through many 000 and 0000 sized brushes in the course of their work. Thank you for your interesting posts and fun life commentary, Carl!


  2. I have found that painting miniatures saves paint and less brush wear.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. nimi naren said

    Thank you Lance

    Liked by 1 person

  4. THANK YOU! I am enjoying your blog, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. OOOOPs. I forgot to mention your painting is lovely and sensitive to how delicate the hardy bird always appears.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh gosh, we have forest fires here, but mainly the controlled burning, at set times of the year, it actually saves wildlife and promotes new growth. The odd fire starts by accident during the summer, but is usually easily put under control. I only recall one as a child that got out of control and began to get dangerously close to our house( and others) it’s scary stuff. Well you certainly have the extremes in temperature.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. debiriley said

    gosh, Lance…. but thank you! and I’m really loving how you are achieving the whole snow and blizzard effects 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. …hahaha! I love getting compliments from the maven of watercolour

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ….Wisconsin is such a special State–thank you Teri!

    Liked by 1 person


    Liked by 1 person

  11. Becca, we DO live in a supposedly ‘cold climate’–in years past it would go down to -30C. No more. And already the wildfires have begun. Soon we’ll hear only helicopters overhead, coming to a nearby lake to scoop up water to take to the flames. So sad. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  12. THANK YOU Bella, and yes, how I agree that chickadees are so very special!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. debiriley said

    Lance, you did such a marvellous job with this, love the snow! and the bird is lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Teri C said

    So beautifully done.
    I love these little guys as we get them in Wisconsin and they are so fun to watch.
    You have some great facts to enjoy also. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh what a lovely Chickadee, I especially like the very subtle gray toned background .

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Love the chickadee, such a cute bird from what I see in your paintings. I was beginning to think you lived in a permanently cold climate, but my gosh it’s is hot, hot, hot, please send some to the uk, our swallows have arrived, and they think they are in the wrong country, lol bring on the sunshine 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Arts & Rhymes said

    Beautiful painting! Interesting facts too. They are such lovely little creatures! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  18. ….Thank you for the wintry support, Teresa 🙂


  19. Beautiful painting! And thanks for sharing those fun facts about the Black-capped Chickadee! Snow paintings are actually nice now that the temperatures are warm…helps me to cool off by looking at your art! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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