Go almost anywhere in the suburbs or the country, and you will see chickadees. A full-grown chickadee seldom weighs more than half an ounce, about the weight of an ordinary letter. Inside that tiny body is a heart that beats close to 500 times a minute, so fast that through a stethoscope its sound is practically a buzz. Its body temperature ranges around 105 degrees, which accounts for that high-tension activity.

On a cold day a, chickadee needs its own weight in food to keep the inner fires burning. Its feathers, which make it appear the size of a sparrow when they fluff out, help hold warmth, while the dark back and head gather additional heat from the winter sun.

This bird is a lively personality! It can be a ham actor, a bully, a wheeler, or an acrobat. It loves a human audience and comes to the dooryard feeder as much for companionship as for a snack. As an entertainer, the feathered song-and-dance performer gets, and deserves, top billing on the winter circuit of the dooryard feeders.—Reader’s Digest

“And God created …every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good”


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