Sunday, May 3, 2009

How to identify chickadees

A human (naturally!) asked how to distinguish us Black-capped Chickadees from Carolina Chickadees. Really, we're not much more closely related to each other than you humans are to chimpanzees. Now I know the two of you look a lot alike, but thanks to that unfortunate skin condition most of you humans seem to suffer from, with your poor skin so pathetically bare that you have to wear clothes just to protect yourself from UV light, wind, rain, cold, hot--well, that does make identifying you rather simple. We birds are ever so much more evolved!

We of course never confuse ourselves with Carolina Chickadees, even when we live in the same range, though once in a great while one of our kind decides to make some sort of political statement or something and mates with one of them. They DO have a pretty song, but still--that is, to my way of thinking, as inappropriate and, well, weird, as a human mating with a chimp. Ewww!

So you won't get any sympathy from me if you can't tell us apart,but fortunately for you, some humans who call themselves birders had the same problem, so they put together a whole big spiel on the so-called "All About Birds" website. Talk about presumptuous! As if one website could possibly have everything knowable about birds. But it's worth a look if you want some help telling us Black-caps from those Carolinas.

1 comment:

Nancy Ortiz said...

The website you so kindly referred me to explained the field marks differentiating Black Caps from Carolinas very well. With pictures. So that I being human, I would not become confused. No point in testing our well known mental sluggishness--we never fail to disappoint in that department. To sum up, I would say that you Black Caps are distinguished from your Carolina cousins (much removed) by being more colorful and having a more pronounced while leading edge on your wings. Very elegant appearance, I must say. Thanks for your help. Ta Ta.