Little flocks of Black-capped Chickadees enliven the winter woods with their active behavior and their cheery-sounding chick-a-dee callnotes. They are often accompanied by an assortment of nuthatches, creepers, kinglets, and other birds. This is a popular bird across the northern United States and southern Canada, always welcomed at bird feeders, where it takes sunflower seeds one at time and flies away to stuff them into bark crevices.
This beautifully striking song-bird is a western counterpart to the Scarlet Tanager, occurring in summer farther north than any other tanager -- far up into northwestern Canada. Western Tanagers nest in coniferous forests of the north and the high mountains. During migration they may show up in any habitat, including grassland and desert. The bright males (pictured) often draw attention by pausing in urban and suburban yards in late spring, being drawn to feeders and bird drips.