Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens)

Working around some melting snow, this Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens) deftly picks the seeds out of Douglas Fir cones.  These little birds are abundant on South Fidalgo this time of year.  They prefer living in coniferous forests.  Their cousins the Black-capped Chickadees favor deciduous trees.  Both are seen in my yard, but the smaller Chestnut-backs are far more abundant.

These little birds are fearless.  They will come to the feeders even if I am nearby.  I get a good scolding in the process.  I am putting up some nest boxes to see if I can get these little guys to rear some young in my yard this spring.  They line their nests with animal fur and lay clutches of 5 to 9 eggs.