3 ways to hand feed a chickadee, how to get birds to eat out of your hand
Even though the temperature was below zero this morning, two cardinals were singing in the pre-dawn twilight.I think they are trying to advertise their dominance over our yard and bird feeding area.
As the sun came up, chickadees and nuthatches sang their courtship songs.The chickadees followed me as I filled the bird feeders with black oil sunflower seeds, sometimes coming within a couple feet of me, as if to inspect my work and let me know that I was not too early completing my chores.
The smallest and boldest of the birds that visit our feeders at home and at the nature center this time of year are chickadees.They anticipate when the task will be done when they follow me during filling.Are they happy to see me?The expectation that they will now be fed seems to have been fulfilled by their behavior.It's always nice to see them.
In the forest, we teach about winter ecology and the making of maple syrup.Students are invited to sit quietly with some seeds in their hands at the bird feeders.Sometimes, the little chicklets are bold enough to move beyond the bird feeders and over to the students, and a lucky child gets an opportunity for a personal bird encounter.When we come in contact with a wild animal, we can generate feelings that last a lifetime.
People can teach birds to eat out of their hands.It is a matter of being patient.If you fill your feeders at certain times, the birds will be looking for you.It's mostly about making them feel safe by giving them things they like to eat.
If you have a chair, give it to me and I'll give you unsalted peanuts or sunflower seeds.You can hold your hand in a cupped position for several minutes.If you don't fill other feeders, what you are offering is the only food around.
The birds will move closer to what you have in your hand.Slowly, they may land on your hat, arm, and leg.Once they land on your hand, they will grab a seed or nut and fly away.They will consume it on a safe branch before flying back to you.