Have you noticed that even in the depths of January, there is a sign of spring outside your door? Male black-capped chickadees have started singing their spring song, “fee-bee,” in an attempt to claim their territory and attract a mate. This most obvious proclamation that the breeding season has begun is not, as one might think, triggered by temperature (it’s going to dip way below zero tonight), but rather by photoperiod, or day length. Longer days stimulate the production of hormones which initiate breeding behavior. Even though mating won’t take place for at least two more months, the air will continue to be filled with this most welcome of spring songs for the duration of the winter.
Find more of my photographs and information similar to that which I post in this blog in my book Naturally Curious, which is now available from www.trafalgarbooks.com or your local bookseller.
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES SINGING