I don't know for sure when I saw my first Black-capped Chickadee, but for sure knew them as a kid in the early 1980s when I started more actively keeping bird lists. I didn't see my first Carolina Chickadee until 1986, when I traveled out to visit a girlfriend in Georgia.
I've now lived about as much in the Carolina Chickadee range as I have in the realm of Black-capped Chickadees. Looking at the feeder out my window at work today in the rain, I have both species, and maybe some hybrids. Which species should I now consider "my" chickadee? After all these years, its hard to say. Maybe by now I'm bi-parid?
And then there's those Mountain Chickadees that I miss from my college days in Utah and my summers of bird surveys in Montana. Now that's another sharp chickadee!
Birding for the Curious: A Book Review
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