Friday, January 20, 2012

OHC - Chickadee/Coal tit


In England we don't get Chickadee's, so I was wondering how we were going to pull this one out the bag for our Outdoor Hour Challenge with Barb. Of course I could have found any other bird to do a study on but decided to rather dig a bit deeper into the Chickadee thing with the girls instead, and what we found out was VERY interesting.

 First off, we have a variety of Tits visiting our bird feeder every day. Amongst them is the Coal-tit which looks almost identical to the Chickadee. Could it be, we wondered, that what we know as the Coal-tit is indeed the Chickadee?

We compared pictures of the Coaltit and the Black Capped Chickadee -

Then we read up a bit on the Coaltit on the RSPB website. Following this we followed Barbs recommendations and read Chapter 37 of the Burgess Bird Book, and read pages 68-69 of our Handbook of Nature Study. We noted how similar the habits and statistics were for each of these birds. We found out that at the very least they were related. We took our study a bit further and researched into whether these two birds could possibly be the 'same' bird. Now this is where the knowledge of countless avid birdwatchers comes in. We found a forum where someone was asking the same question. It seems to me that these two birds might very well be the same bird. Apparently there has recently been a bit of re-shuffling in the whole classification of these two birds. I don't think that this forum gave us any absolute confirmations, but certainly gave us allot to think about!

After watching our bird feeder for a little while and enjoying the Tit families quick visits to the feeder, we filled in a note-booking page that I drew up, following Barbs format. 
J-L's Page

V-L's Page
Another successful OHC. We now know so much more about some of our little feathered friends who visit our feeder. 

7 comments:

  1. Wow those birds look so similar, your lessons are so interesting and love the drawing!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent job on this study and adapting it to your area of the world! I did look in my field guide before our study since we don't really ever see chickadees in our feeders either. I did find that our Oak Titmouse (which we do see in our feeder)is in the same family as the chickadee so I am guessing your Coal-tit is in the Paridae family as well. They are almost identical.

    Loved your new notebook page! You always have such great entries to share with the OHC. Thank you so very much.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Indeed the Coal-tit is in the Paridae family! I found this study so interesting! Thank you Barb - you really do add so much joy to our nature explorations. I would be lost without you ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very interesting, thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was just wondering the same thing after reading another blog. When I googled "coal tit chickadee" this post was one of the hits. Thanks for the input, even though the question wasn't answered absolutely!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I, too, was wondering about their similarities, but after seeing the still pictures of the coal tit there are clear differences in their markings, most notably the bold white wing bar. in this way they are more distinguishable than most sparrows.

    if you listen to their songs/calls, however, they are remarkably different.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Our family in Suffolk has Great Tit's nesting in their box and in Ontario we have Chickadee's nesting in our box. Like other's I was also wondering if the Chickadee and Coal Tit were one in the same.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate each and every one left for me.