Black-Capped Chickadee And Unnatural Perches


The black-capped chickadee makes for a great subject to photograph. It is a beautiful small bird which is very common and not shy about coming to a feeder. The only problem I have found with photographing the black-capped chickadee, however, is getting them posed on a natural perch long enough for a photograph.

black-capped chickadee
Water attracts birds such as the black-capped chickadee year-round.

These very active birds have been a challenge of mine for years to get a good image on a natural branch or limb. Rarely do I like to post bird photographs where they are perched on a man made object but the black-capped chickadee is definitely one bird where I make the exception. I photographed this bird a couple months ago before the brunt of winter hit us and the temperatures were still mild. My yard is very thick and shadowy so finding a great place to photograph backyard birds such as the black-capped chickadee has been a struggle.

black-capped chickadee
Feeder posts make for an unusual but interesting perch for the active black-capped chickadee.

The problem is birds like to be around heavy cover, especially when they are vulnerable and not paying attention to the world around them like at the feeder. The feeder is also a great place for sharp shinned hawks to set up an ambush for birds coming in to the feeder so I could move the feeder to a more open area more suitable for photography but that would give the small raptors an unfair advantage so I opted to keep the feeder where it is at and make do with a less than desirable perch for now.

black-capped chickadee
The black-capped chickadee on an unnatural perch.

The black-capped chickadee is quite agile and can attach its strong little feet to almost any perch-like object and hang in almost any position. In these images he is hanging on the pole which holds up the feeder, a most unnatural perch for sure but one I can live with until I can find a more suitable spot for both the birds and the photography.

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